Archive | May, 2009

First Friday lineup for June 5 features garden art, benefit, music

31 May

With a timely focus on bright, fresh and new garden art, the Columbia Art Gallery helps kick off First Friday festivities in Hood River on June 5.

The Gallery at 3rd and Cascade will open its June show, “Art in the Garden,” with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on First Friday. The show features art from 12 artists, and includes such work as bird feeders and fountains, magical mosaics, sculpture and other work – some perfect for outside, some for inside.

Look, also, for the table organized by Sayre’s Angels, a group of fourth- through eight-grade friends of the late Sayre Taft Colt. They’ll be wearing T-shirts promoting the value of the SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) program, and trying to raise funds toward the $30,000 needed to continue the in-school reading program.

For the young (and young at heart), IPS Skate is hosting a lineup of three bands at the far east end of Oak Street, starting at 5 p.m.

Once again, all downtown streets will remain open. The sponsoring Downtown Business Council of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce asks pedestrians and motorists to extend each other due courtesy at intersections.

First Friday action is focused primarily on downtown Hood River, but Shortt Supply on the Heights is hosting a First Friday presentation, “On the Run Nutrition and Hydration” by seven-time Western States 100-mile champion Scott Jurek. The program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Other businesses and in-store activities include:

  • At Home On Oak  — Artist Susanne Lorenzi and soprano saxophonist Mike Stillwell
  • Columbia Center for the Arts — Garden art show featuring Arthur Higgins (sculpture), CJ Rench (sculpture), Linda Steider (glass), Dave Sherburne (fountains), Heather Marlow (botanicals and fiber art), Nancy Houfek (oils), Gene Phillips (ceramics), Jim Diem (ceramics), Toms Royal (mosaic), Sue Sutherland (monoprints), Tom Herrera (sculpture), Gylan Lane (botanicals).
  • The Enchanted Alpaca — Hosts ADOPT-A-DOG out front, with fiber artist Kristen Baker making felted animals inside. Wine tasting and a 10% discount on summer clothing.
  • Hood River Hotel — Framed and hand-beaded collage quilts from TamLen Arts and Creations.
  • IPS Skate – Music by The Surf Wipers, Pink Gravel and Order or Chaos perform beginning at 5 p.m.
  • Melika — Featuring live music.
  • Naked Winery — Live rockin’ country music by America’s Most Wanted from 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Nora’s Table — Dreamlike, narrative folk tales by Portland painter Susan Reagel, provided through Benjamin Benjamin Gallery.
  • 6th St. Bistro — Music from a variety of genres by veteran local performer Ben Bonham, starting at 7 p.m.
  • SOLO studio & gallery — A sophisticated and luscious abstract oil paintings with a maritime theme by Seattle/Hood River artist Melinda Hannigan.  Owner Sorcha Meek will be working on some prints during the evening.
  • Sushi Okalani — Mix of Japanese style brush paintings and surf-inspired action shots by Vanvouver, B.C., native Michelle Yamamoto.
  • Yasui Building (Celilo, Copper West, 5th Element Salon, Knot Another Hat, etc.) — An open house for all resident businesses, with lots of food and beverages.
  • Waucoma Bookstore — Book signing of “Love Finds You in Last Chance, California” by Gorge writer Miralee Ferrell.

No news on Annz, but sniffers

27 May

Talked briefly this morning with North Cheatham, owner of the old Paris Fair building at 4th and Oak, which was the recent home of Annz Panz. No news yet on a replacement tenant, although North says he’s had serious inquiries from people interested in the space. He’s contemplating a facelift, and a north-south split to create two smaller spaces. One, on the east side, would remain optimized for restaurant use.  Much of the gear is in place, and would come with the lease rate. He’s looking at $1.50 to $1.60 a square foot. The west side would be perfect for … your burning ambition? Get on it. And stay tuned.

Stand Up Paddling … in whitewater? Hmmm

27 May

Interesting story in the Denver Post about a whitewater competition on the Colorado River near Glenwood Springs (aka “the turnoff to Aspen”). It mentions Dan Gavere or Hood River, and Werner Paddles. Gets you thinking … what about the lower Hood River, once the Powerdale Dam comes out and the stretch of river opens up to recreation? Question: What happens when the fin of an SUP hits the rock in a river? Kayaks, at least, can skid over, right?

OPB looks at small business survival in the Hood

27 May

Listen to how two businesses — Melika and Nora’s Table — are adapting and diversifying to survive the economic downtown.

Store manager to buy Silverado Jewelry Gallery

24 May

As of June 1, the Silverado Jewelry Gallery in downtown Hood River will have a new owner. Longtime local manager Christine Grenci has worked out a deal to buy the local store, one of two in Oregon (the other is in Bend). She jokes that she was the only person offered a business loan by a bank during the past year — in the entire United States.

Oh, it wasn’t a joke? These days, you never know. In any case, cheers to Christine. What a year 2009 will be. She and Michael Barthmus, owner of nearby Doppio Coffee + Lounge, are engaged to marry later this year.

FYI, having a partner in business is not a requirement to hang out a shingle in downtown Hood River. But I’m beginning to wonder about these coffee bar guys. You may have noticed Nate and Katie making those regular shuttle runs between Dog River and Twiggs. Love is in the … roast?

‘Mystery biz’ contemplates move, seeks investor

24 May

Are you local? Are you … well, “angel money” looking for a place to place some grace? An existing downtown business is looking to relocate into a bigger space, and could use a little financing help. I guess they don’t want to try it with the banks. Hmm, wonder why — banks are just throwing money at small businesses these days, aren’t they? Anyway, this business owner wants to keep a low profile for the moment, partly out of regard for her current landlord. Let me know if you want an introduction, and I’ll make it happen.

New owner plans gradual changes at South Bank Kitchen

24 May

Just met Ali Adams, the new owner at South Bank Kitchen. A recent refugee from a decade in the advertising agency business, she and her husband wanted a life closer to … oh, you know, the Hood. He’s “retired” from the software business, taking care of their two young children, and spending as much time kiting as he can. Ali is focused on SBK. She likes food, but isn’t herself a chef — she’s hired one to help with the food side. New items are already popping up in the display case. She plans to add breakfast, some bread and pastry items. Steady as she goes, in other words, with minor course corrections. Best wishes, Ali, and welcome.