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PDX: food shops

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A discussion on another board got me thinking about food shops in Portland and if there's a saturation point yet, or if there are still areas that are in desperate need. I've heard laments about a lack of a gourmet market/shop in the Hollywood area, but the storefronts are less than appealing around there. I wonder if one could survive. Does every neighborhood need one? Can you have too many? I think of Portland as a serious food town but I don't know if there's room between, like, 8 wine shops, Pastaworks, Whole Foods, In Good Taste, Foster and Dobbs, Curds and Whey and whoever else I'm forgetting. Just a thought, didn't know if anyone else has opinions about Portland's retail food scene.

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  1. Well, there's a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods planned in Hollywood....

    Forget the saturation point on gourmet foods, when is Portland going to become saturated with coffee shops and brew pubs? There are many places with ones right across the street or on the same block as each other, for goodness sake.

    2 Replies
    1. re: extramsg

      Speaking of brewpub saturation, I noticed that the former Epicure on NE Broadway is going to reopen as a brewpub. I can't remember the name, but it's an outpost of the Old Market Pub.

      That area doesn't actually have a whole lot of brewpubs, so maybe they can be successful in that location where so many other restaurants have failed. There's only the McMenamin's at 15th and Broadway to compete with it.

      1. re: Nettie

        Yeah, Broadway Brewpub or something like that. My wife works over there and was pretty disappointed. There's also the BJ's, technically, on Weidler to compete with.

    2. I think there are saturation points for specific neighborhoods, but not for the city as a whole. I also think that Hollywood is in the midst of a gradual trend that is bringing that type of business to the area. There's the new coffee/wine bar on Sandy that seems to be doing well, and Fleur de Lis around the corner and, as Nick pointed out, the new Whole Foods looming on the horizon. I agree that the business area does have a somewhat depressing, ugly 70's ambience, but it is changing for the better.