By Aryne + Dulcinea, October 30, 2018
By Aryne + Dulcinea, October 30, 2018
Kern is one of the fastest-changing neighborhoods in the Portland area, with much of the Central Industrial Area having undergone renovations and new developments to accommodate the city’s growing population.
Located east of the Willamette river, Portland’s Kerns Neighborhood shares its borders with Sunnyside, Lloyd District, Laurelhurst and Sullivan’s Gulch. As one of the most centrally-located areas citywide, Kerns is a wonderful neighborhood to soak in all Portland has to offer. Therefore, a perfect day in Kerns includes many of the city’s favorite pastimes – brunch, brews, vintage shops, music and comedy!
It’s always hard to choose favorites when talking about local coffee shops, but If you’re seeking an authentic Portland aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with See See Motor Coffee Co. Combining Stumptown coffee with an intriguing inventory of motorcycle swag, See See’s merges genuine Old-Portland vibes effortlessly into the contemporary coffee scene. You could great a quick bite here, or take your coffee to-go and enjoy a proper brunch experience at Screen Door – equally legendary for its fried chicken and long waits – or the delightfully fresh Luce, located just across the street.
With a full and happy belly, it’s time to start exploring the delightful shops that span this stretch of east Burnside. Nearby, you’ll find Appetite, a curated homewares, vintage and décor shop operated by a pair of Southwestern sisters. Kitty-corner from Appetite is newcomer Palace, a shop that specializes in all things adorable (think: handcrafted goods, Parisienne-inspired clothing and local cosmetics.)
In true Portland form, you should plan on visiting at least one brewpub Fortunately, Portland’s Kerns neighborhood is lousy with ‘em. A few options that are great for groups and offer unique varieties you won’t find elsewhere include Base Camp Brewing, Burnside Brewing Co. and Coalition Brewing. If you head east toward Burnside Brewing, you’ll also be near another slew of great local shops, such as HAUNT clothing shop, Redux jewelry store, independent women’s fashion shop Seven Sisters, and Modo Boutique consignment. Perhaps the most iconic area shop is Hippo Hardware, whose inventory spans thousands of antique, vintage, and reproduction items. Attentive viewers of the Jackass films might even recognize the store from a prank they filmed in the early 2000s.
Other area afternoon activities can be found at nearby event space Revolution Hall within the restored Washington High School. For outdoor lovers, scenic views are abundant along the Eastbank Esplanade. If you start to get peckish, swing by Vegan Row near 12th and SE Stark for a variety of lunch options, including Sweet Pea Bakery and Meat Cheese Bread. Weather permitting, you can also enjoy a late afternoon bite from The Rooftop Bar, which also happens to be in Washington High School and offers an epic view of Portland’s west side!
As primarily a commercial district, Kerns truly comes alive at night. It’s a destination for many locals, who enjoy the food, drinks and activities the area provides. For a dinner, check out Noble Rot, Le Pigeon or Mirakutei.
You have your choice of some of the city’s best cultural venues, which host vibrant events spanning music, comedy and dance. A newcomer to the scene, Deep End Theateris a women-owned and operated venue that is quickly gaining recognition for its hilarious and avant-garde improv offerings. Doug Fir Lounge is another late-night contender, and serves as a source of local pride. Check out Bossanova Ballroom, Trioor Rontoms for additional special events!
With its close proximity to downtown, Kerns represents the beginning of a cultural spillover from the west side. Despite this new energy, Portland’s Kerns Neighborhood remains deeply connected to its gritty industrial roots and provides one of the most exciting stretches to explore the cities’ eccentricity.