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|Thursday, March 08, 2012|
BY LINDA BAKER
In Italy, indeed, in most European countries, cafés are a ubiquitous feature in parks and plazas. In Portland, a metropolis that likes to think of itself as “the best European city in America” — a phrase coined by mayoral candidate Charlie Hales a decade ago — cafés in parks are not ubiquitous. To be precise, there are only three permanent food service operations in Portland open spaces: Starbucks in Pioneer Square, a coffee kiosk in South Waterfront Park, and Violetta in Director Park.
Correcting my initial generalization, Lindley said not every plaza in Italy has an on-site café. “Every plaza in Italy has cafes around them," he said. The plazas themselves are “generally served by cafés around the edges and you find that tables spill out from side of building into the piazza.” During the Director Park review process, commission members suggested the park imitate this model, especially since the purpose of the curbless street design, Lindley said, was to "engage with the buildings around it."
Portland has no shortage of food carts or temporary vendors. But permanent well designed buildings can be more powerful activators of the surrounding landscape — the goal of all good urban design. Locating restaurants in parks/plazas can be "a noble mission," suggests Lindley — and the practice may even work in parks outside of downtown. Asked about the suitability of locating a café in a neighborhood greenspace such as Laurelhurst Park, Lindley said: “If you put in a beautiful garden restaurant that drew neighborhood residents and became a magnet for people."
As the city searches for a new vendor for the 840-square-foot Director Park site, there are signs that Portland is trying to extend the plaza café concept, despite the challenges. Last fall, I wrote about the conversion of SW Ankeny into a patio for nearby restaurants and the mini boom in sales that followed. Under the right circumstances, it would seem, cafés and public space are the perfect match — on or off the continent.
Linda Baker is managing editor of Oregon Business.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy. “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON
Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.
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