Archive | September, 2009

Purchasing preferences

29 Sep

City offers free parking to host Hops Fest visitors

29 Sep

Thanks to the City of Hood River, a major booster of the annual Hood River Hops Fest, visitors to the 6th annual event on Saturday, Oct. 3, will get to park anywhere downtown — for free. No parking meters. No tickets. If you’re a merchant, spread the word. If you’re not, leave the spare change at home.

The Hops Fest, by the way, is a great annual event — featuring 25 Northwest craft brewers pouring samples of 50 beers — about half of them cooked using fresh hops. Check it out.

Dive into Oregon’s 150th birthday

29 Sep

In its own salute to Oregon’s sesquicentennial (OK, 150th birthday year), the Hood River Hotel has planned its annual historic dinner around a bounty of fresh Oregon ingredients.

Cod. Crab. Mushrooms. Beef. Pears. Greens and herbs and rich root crops, oh, my.

The reasons, in other words, that people migrated across the country to settle here. And left the factory chicken farms to Arkansas.

As its theme for the dinner on Friday, Oct. 23, the Hood River Hotel has chosen “Oregon: 150 Years … Keeping It Fresh, Keeping It Oregon.”

The dinner, in the hotel’s own historic Landmark Room, features music and decorations reminiscent of those in fashion during 1859, when Oregon became a state.

Hotel owner Brian Cunninghame, something of a history buff, will keynote the dinner with a salute to 150 years of Oregon history. A cocktail reception at 6 p.m. leads into the dinner at 6:30 p.m.

“We’ll talk about the twisted evolution of events that took place from 1792 when Robert Gray discovered the Columbia River and claimed it for the United States to 1859 when Congress and President James Buchanan formally created Oregon as the 33rd state,” Cunninghame says.

“With everything that went on, it is amazing that Oregon ever became a state, and that it has lasted in its present configuration for 150 years.”

To celebrate the bounty that is Oregon, Chef Mark Whitehead has crafted a five-course menu that includes dishes drawn from Forest, Ocean, Garden, Ranch and Orchard.

Such as? Try Wild Mushroom Potage; Pan Roasted Cod over Dungeness Crab Broth; a salad of arugula, shaved turnips, radishes, carrots, pickled onion, oregano, garlic and olive oil; Apple Cider-Braised Corned Beef; and Roasted Pear Strudel.

Dinner costs $25 a person,. To register, call 541-386-1900 or write general manager Cathy Butterfield.

Whatup all over the downtown place

17 Sep

You’ve read some of it here before. You haven’t read all of it here before. Here’s a quick overview of what’s happening downtown in the next couple of months.

Summer’s over, and change is in the air. Several businesses are either moving, closing or looking for buyers.

And one business is preparing to offer visitor information and advice to downtown visitors. With the blessing of the Chamber, Sue Collins at Cascade Travel, 506 Cascade, will be creating an information center inside her store.

To defray expenses related to setting up and stocking brochure racks in the room at the front of her building, she will charge a monthly fee starting at $10 and scaling up, depending on the size of materials to be offered (magazine size vs. brochure, for instance). The service is available to Chamber members only. Call Collins at 541-386-6800 to arrange placement of your materials.

At least two downtown businesses are actively looking for buyers: That’s Swank and Doug’s. Plush Bed & Bath is closing, probably around the end of October. Discover Bicycles is moving, to the old Van Meter furniture building at 3rd and State streets, also toward November. Three prospective tenants are looking seriously at renting Discover’s current space at 2nd and Oak.

Benajamin Benjamin Gallery has moved to a smaller space on Third Street between Oak and Cascade. Owner Myah Bailey has been placing art in other retail locations (Naked, Ground Coffee, Nora’s Table), and selling well through those channels, so she realized that she didn’t need the space where she started next to Naked Winery.

And Naked does — need the space, that is. Naked is expanding, owner Dave Barringer says, so they can create a private meeting space, for parties, wedding dinners, tour groups. “We want them to feel special,” he says. He hopes to have the spruce-up done by Oct. 30, in time for the holidays.

Look for Vintage Legacy to open its doors soon at 112 Third St. Owner Linda Forsberg will hold an open house on Sept. 24.

So far, no news on a new tenant in the old Panzanella space at 5th and Cascade. Michael Eggebrecht had taken a serious look at opening a craft bakery there, but unresolved financial details put the brakes on that.

And North Cheatham tells us he’s in serious talks to rent the former Annz Panz space to a Portland chef who is interested in opening a French restaurant … in, ironically enough, the onetime Paris Fair building.

Oh, yes: The last First Friday of the summer is Oct. 2, followed the next day by the 6th Annual Hood River Hops Fest just south of Full Sail Brewery (details at: hoodriverhopsfest.wordpress.com/ )

And, of course, if YOU hear of something new, share it with me. 386-8860.

Will Paris Fair building host new French bistro in downtown Hood River?

12 Sep

Just spoke with North Cheatham, owner of the old Paris Fair building (former Annz Panz home site) at 4th and Oak streetys, and he’s hot on the trail of a deal that would bring a new French restaurant to downtown Hood River. Now, pay attention: This AIN’T  a done deal. But North is optimistic.

“I’m confident it will go through,” he says. logo

North hopes to lease the entire space to Pascal Chureau, executive chef at Fenouil, “an urban French brasserie in Portland’s Pearl District,” as the web site proclaims.

The stumbling block? Building code and access issues that currently restrict occupancy to 50 or fewer people. 

Meanwhile, North plans to totally revamp the storefront with a lot of natural wood and other, more contemporary touches. If all goes according to plan, he hopes for a Nov. 1 opening.

“There’s nothing Pascal would like more than to put French cuisine in the Paris Fair building.”

Yes, there IS space available in downtown Hood River

10 Sep

Thanks to Greg Colt of Colt Listing Service, here’s a run-through of space available in downtown Hood River. You know you want to be there. So, get there. Oh, yeah. Call Greg at 541-490-1175 if you’re interested.

HOOD RIVER CBD

COMMERCIAL SPACE AVAILABLE

ADDRESS                 DESCRIPTON                      SQ FT                        $/SF            RENT/MO

112 Oak                      2nd Story Office/Open            4500                1.00     $4500

Above Plush/Taco Del Mar

112 Oak                      Retail Store Front/Mezz         4000                1.00     $4000

Plush

207 Third                    Retail Store Front/office         1600                1.25     $2000

Former Law Office

213 Third                    Lower Level Open                  5000                0.50     $2500

Basement Van Metre

315 Oak                      Paris Fair Building/Retail 5500

Annz Panz

416 Oak                      Oak Mall                                 1200

101 Fourth                  Below Grade Office

Old Cast Theater

208 Fourth                  Sub Par Retail/Office              1200

Diggity Dog

102 Fifth                     Retail/Office/Bakery 1650                0.73     $1200

Panzanella

116 Oak                      Prime Retail Corner                4500                1.50     $6750

Discover Bike

115 Second                  Below Grade Retail                 1200                1.00     $1200

Basement under Discover