Roseway: An Appreciation

July 6th, 2006

I’ve always been jealous of friends living in vibrant Portland neighborhoods like Mississippi or Alberta. Roseway, my modest neighborhood, has always felt so dour in comparison – like a homely sister relegated to the shadows at a party. But I’ve come to love my neighborhood’s less tangible qualities. Roseway offers a ton of wonderful and cheap restaurants. We also have an old school pharmacy featuring a fully functioning soda fountain. I see Roseway as a fixer upper neighborhood (much like North Portland’s St. Johns). Roseway is a house with good bones, but in need of some updating and new paint. To that end, I recommend taking a look at John Brehm’s design for the Roseway plaza below:

Roseway Plaza

The plaza, at the top of our park blocks, use to feature a huge rose garden. These days, it offers a whole lot of nothing. I like the idea of turning into something that would give an identity to the neighborhood and serve as a gateway of sorts. Really, the entire stretch of park blocks could be so much more than they are today. They could actually be little mini parks – with children’s play equipment and other amenities.

Below are some photos and descriptions of notable Roseway locales:


Fairley’s Pharmacy
This cute pharmacy at the corner of Fremont and Sandy has a genuine soda fountain. They also offer WiFi now for the internet crowd, although I’ve never seen anyone in there with a laptop.


Annie’s Donuts
The best donuts in Portland (Voodoo Donuts downtown is a close second). The interior of this place is great, but the external signage could be more interesting.


Roseway Theater
Owned by the folks who run Cinemagic and The Moreland. Cheap admission, but lousy seats that leave your back aching. The movies are also all over the place. Sometime they have great films, sometimes they’re just horrible Hollywood crap. But it’s just up the street from my house and I love walking up after a few cocktails.


Thien Hong
I love the pepper-salted squid here. Pretty much everything I’ve had here has been great. It’s really crowded on the weekends, but the service is pretty fast.


Pho Hung (recently renamed Pho Vinh)
One of the best pho joints in Portland. And one of the cheapest. You can get a small bowl of pho for like $5.50 (and a small is really pretty big). There are a few other pho places on Sandy, often called “Pho Row”, but none are quite this good.


Rose City Liquor
Decent little booze shop with a nice staff. For those readers not residing in Oregon, I should explain that we don’t sell hooch in stores. Only shops licensed by the state are allowed to sell hard liquor. And those beverages must be on an approved list and purchased from the state. How lame is that? Since there are only a set number of liquor stores in the city, it’s groovy having one close by.


The Sandy Jug (now Pirate’s Cove)
I’m not real thrilled about having a strip club just up the street, but this site has an interesting history. Originally named the Orange Blossom Jug, it was built 1928 as part of a roadside complex including a service station with fake 75-foot oil derrick. In the 1930s, it became the Sandy Jug restaurant and in the 1950s it became a bar. In 2002, the Jug changed its name to Pirate’s Cove and went to a full on stripper format.


Roseway Barber Shop
This is where I usually get my hair cut on weekends. Just $12.00 for a regular trim.


Ed’s House of Gems
Never been in this store that boasts “everything for the rockhound”, but it has always intrigued me. They do carry lots of interesting tools, so I’m going to check it out at some point.


Gregory Heights Library
If you’re not from Portland, you probably don’t know the joys of the Multnomah County Library. I’m sorry, but this is the best library system ever. I mean, they had The Conet Project, a collection of shortwave number stations recordings, in their collection until it was stolen last year. There is only one other library in the world with that CD set and they’re in the UK. Here are some of the items I have on hold or checked out right now:

- Arriflex 16SR Guide [book] by Jon Fauer
- Wages of Fear [DVD] Criterion Collection
- Architecture in Photography [book] by Paolo Rosselli
- Picaresque [CD] the Decemberists
- Last Days [DVD] Gus Van Sant

Entry Filed under: Architecture

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Megan  |  July 6th, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    Nice tribute to the Roseway. :) It IS a super cute neighborhood. I agree that the park blocks could really be turned into something awesome for the whole neighborhood. I hope it does.

  • 2. Jeff Jones  |  July 10th, 2006 at 9:30 am

    Have you seen this local short film about Sandy Blvd?

  • 3. Brain  |  July 10th, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    Pirates Cove. I wonder if that place is like that “Dancing Bare” you took me to.

    You’re lucky to live where you do. It has some character.

  • 4. Ned  |  July 10th, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    We went to the Dancin Bare? Jeez, I don’t remember that part of your visit. Was I super bombed at the time?

  • 5. Tim  |  July 11th, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    Ned, the real reason our neighborhood rocks is the neighbors! Chickens and biker dudes (marshall and John) - what more could you want in a neighborhood?

  • 6. indigo sage  |  July 13th, 2006 at 4:40 am

    have you ever actually been in the pirate’s cove or are you just passing judgement on it through heresay? i dance there, and i’m not miserable…

  • 7. Ned  |  July 13th, 2006 at 9:05 am

    Like I said, I’ve never been to the Cove, but my comments were informed by what I’ve read on

    But if readers of Wildfreshness would like first hand reports based on direct observations, I guess I would be willing to stop by. If there are others out there who want to be part of an expedition to the Cove, let me know.

  • 8. Tim  |  July 17th, 2006 at 6:55 am

    I would consider under one condition - indigo sage promises me a non-miserable free lap dance.

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