Beulahland is an eclectic grill, coffee shop, and alehouse boasting a menu of similarly eclectic sustenance. Achieve the physically impossible task of smiling and chewing at the same time while savoring the blue-cheese-and-bacon burger, a handmade patty of free-range grass-fed beef from the Strawberry Mountain wilderness ($8.50), or enjoying the porta-beulah sandwich, which hosts a marinated portobello mushroom between its pub-bun bookends ($8). Entrees include a red curry with seasonal vegetables ($7.50), a quesadilla packed with chicken, cheddar, and salsa ($8), and the Grandpa's Platter, a hearty helping of meatloaf and mac 'n' cheese for the wrinkly-at-heart looking to beef up before the full-contact bingo tournament ($8.50).
The journey toward founding Velo Cult wasn't easy, but according to owner and bike enthusiast Sky, it was worth the effort. With a name taken from the French word for "bike" and an abbreviation of the word culture, Velo Cult certainly lives up to its intent: the multi-use space is at once a bike shop, bar, cafe, and special events venue. A dozen taps dispense a weekly-changing roster of local and regional craft brews, which are served alongside more than 40 brews in cans and bottles. At the coffee bar, baristas prepare blends from four different roasters in the pour-over style.
This attention to detail and multi-use focus aren't Velo Cult's only unique attributes: the design reflects a quirky sensibility as well. The bar contains a communal table crafted from an old bowling lane, while the showroom features a folding stage made from a re-purposed 80 year-old wooden drawbridge. This platform is lowered several nights a week for live music, except during sieges. In the same space, a 100-inch projection screen showcases films and documentaries throughout the year. Velo Cult also contains its own museum, which features complete bikes from Sky's personal collection.
A row of artist easels stand in stark contrast to the brilliant images being painted upon the canvases they hold. Splashes of green, yellow, and red coax images to life as amateur artists take the first tentative steps toward self-expression through paint. At the front of the room, a local artist leads this group of seekers, demonstrating techniques to help students create a piece inspired by a famous work of art and, maybe, find their own ideas.
Creativity-filled scenes like this one happen everyday at Art School Studio. During accessible classes, the school provides all the materials necessary to paint a masterwork, from simple aprons to insightful instruction from a professional artist. Students learn rudimentary painting techniques the old-fashioned way: by mimicking everything from modern landscapes to floral arrangements by famous artists such as Klimt and Van Gogh. As they explore their new talents, students can even imbibe a celebratory wine, beer, or cider. In the event that these introductory classes awaken a newfound love for creation, the school also runs four-week courses to develop higher level skills, such as painting self portraits on mirrors.
At Quartet, food, hospitality, atmosphere, and music harmonize under the orchestration of restaurateur Frank Taylor. Creative takes on American standbys fill the plateware, crafted by experienced head chef and Oregon native Adam Kekahuna out of sustainable, local ingredients. Those dishes rest on elegant linen tablecloths while diners rest on plush armchair seating. Through the two-story windows, guests can watch the sparkling Willamette flow by, or on a clear day, spot the dragons circling Mount Hood. Meanwhile, the paired grand pianos beside the bar tempt a stream of local musicians such as Tony Pacini and Mel Brown—live tunes start playing at 5:30 p.m. on the dot.
Almost everything at Bar Maven can be traced back to its source, from its rotating selection of local microbrews to the repurposed materials that decorate its interior. The chefs create Northwest pub fare, which features strong Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Think Lebanese empanadas, sirloin skewers, and grass-fed-beef burgers piled high with gyro meat and chipotle-tzatziki sauce. Mixologists are also on hand to craft signature cocktails, such as the Marshmallowrita—a blend of marshmallow vodka and freshly muddled lime juice. To keep the Portland theme going, the dining room frequently pulses with the sounds of local musicians and the mayor beatboxing.