IF DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND HAD CLIFFSNOTES, THIS WOULD BE PART OF THE CITY GUIDE APPENDIX; A PAGE CALLED ‘UNKNOWN OLD TOWN | CHINA TOWN, WHERE THE CURIOUS DWP GUEST CAN BUMP INTO A REAL DESIGNER IN THE WILD.’
But, do you know where to look beyond the hotel bars and handlebar mustaches?
You see, Portland Design Week happens during the perfect Indian Summer months of PDX. The streets are crowded with blissed-out natives drunk on dreamy weather. Don’t judge! We look like that because we’ve been caved up with damp feet in a GORE-TEX shield for 8 months, woodshedding.
Remember: Portlandia only films during these perfect months. The rest of the time is miserable and we feel less like extras from that show, and more like extras from C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers).
YOU SEE THIS
So who are some Portland designers that I should know about?
And where would they hang out if they were in OTCT?
(Something to keep in mind: Once you hit the 7:00 pm hour, your work is done here, and OTCT turns into a pumpkin. Roam at your own risk!)
New, well-branded joint with top-notch cocktails and food from Lardo. No signage, just secrets. Started by an artist and a punk rocker who sold his record collection to build it, new owners maintain cozy, happening, secret vibe amidst Portland’s French Quarter. Always wanted to dine at a roomy Pottery Barn? Exposed beams, Steak Frites, large drink selection. Bring a client with an expense account.
EAST TUBE OLD TOWN PIZZA
Designed by Skylab, this lounge is gorgeous inside. Best bathrooms in Chinatown. Decent menu, heavy on the DJs. Designed by Colab, this place has changed hands many times, but always has vegan bar food, snotty staff, loud djs, a pickup flavor. Cavernous, grubby beer hall allegedly haunted (probably by ghosts that love pretzel knots).
See you in the wild!
*Thanks for the inspiration, Aaron!
Watch the Field Notes story.