Irvington Neighborhood Guide
Irvington is located in Northeast Portland. It is bordered by the Sabin, Alameda, Eliot, King, Grant Park, Sullivan's Gulch, and Lloyd Center neighborhoods. Irvington is located on the East side of the Willamette River. Its boundaries are NE Fremont Avenue on the North, NE 7th Avenue on the West, NE Broadway on the South, and NE 26th Avenue on the East. The upper Northeast corner overlaps with Alameda and Sabin neighborhoods.
Irvington is in a fantastic location for both commuting, as well as getting to many other great Portland neighborhoods. Major freeway ramps located near Irvington include I-84 and I-5. Portland’s Tri Met runs bus schedules, and the MAX light rail train is only blocks away from Irvington’s Southernmost boundary, at Lloyd Center Mall. Drive West over the Broadway bridge to get downtown or to the Pearl District in mere minutes, or head Northeast to Alberta or Beaumont-Wilshire, Northwest to the Boise/Eliot and Historic Mississippi Avenue neighborhoods, or Southeast to get to the Belmont and Hawthorne neighborhoods.
Portland’s Irvington neighborhood cannot be easily characterized. On its southern border is a sizeable strip of restaurants, bars, coffee houses, personal service establishments, and shop after shop. In this section of Irvington is the array between bars with video lottery and shops with expensive lingerie. Irvington’s northern border is primarily residential, but where commercialism pops through tends to be high-end. And on its east and west sit two large parks.
In between? Well, this is the kind of neighborhood for which people enter the American dream. The houses, each unique and almost all attractive with their ancient trees and flowing green lawns, seem the picture of Americana that we agreed to when we entered the game. The children playing seem palpably blessed to have this as their foundation. And driving through you can almost hear the promise of a simpler country and a simpler time if we just hold onto neighborhoods like it.
Several grand dame old homes are located here, and many are on the National Register of Historic Places. Back when they were constructed, Irvington homes were considered upper middle class. The sense of Irvington history can be found in more than just the homes. The exclusive Irvington Club for tennis was founded in 1898. And, if you pay attention while strolling the streets, you’ll notice many sidewalks imprinted with the original craftsman’s name and date (”E. Wiles 1908”) and you’ll even find an occasional metal ring still attached to the curb, from back in the days when everyone had horses to tie up instead of automobiles to park.
Like any neighborhood that has been around since the turn of the last century, Irvington has suffered from periodic slumps over the years. Some houses fell into disrepair, and here and there a house was demolished and replaced with a “modern” mid-century apartment or commercial building. But overall, if you enjoy historic charm and unique homes with fine character and craftsmanship, you’ll love Irvington.
Irvington Park - This is a popular old park for Irvington residents, with big trees, plenty of green grass, ball fields, a water feature and playground for the children, and off-leash dog park section, basketball and tennis courts, and of course, picnic tables.
More area parks:
Join the Irvington On-line Community - Meet your Irvington neighbors, add local events to the calendar, share photos, and more.
Multnomah County Library Library - Albina
Elementary school: Irvington Elementary School
Middle school: Fernwood Middle School
High school: Grant High School
Religious Organizations (churches, synagogues, places of worship)
Neighborhood Public Transit - bus routes, train stops, etc.
Irvington is a classic American neighborhood, with beautiful older homes, manicured lawns, enormous mature trees, and quiet streets with sidewalks made for evening strolls. Live in Irvington if you appreciate the joys of owning an older home, (or enjoy restoration projects), and appreciate the classic appeal of an old established neighborhood. There are also plenty of rentals in the area. This is a also great location if living in a well-known, prestigious Portland neighborhood is important to you. Other benefits of Irvington include the convenience of being near shopping, walking to the coffee shop in the morning, and becoming a part of the community.
Zip Code 97212
Irvington Restaurants and Businesses
Milo's City Cafe'
A big city sized array of choices with nowhere near the cosmo gouge in prices, Milos City Café is the kind of urbane enterprise that actually offers a list of different types of eggs Benedict, with most averaging around $8.00. Never saw that before. The lunch and dinner menus are likewise extensive and varied pan fried oysters to roasted duck with plum sauce and nothing sets you back more than the filet mignon at $17.95. The dining area is large, open-kitchen style, so you can sit back and watch the pros at work while you enjoy the sophisticated choices before you.
Milo's City Cafe, 1325 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 288-MILO
Pour Wine Bar &Bistro
Owner Robert Volz has an uncanny eye for retro appropriate chic. Not sure how he does it, but his wine bar and bistro on NE Broadway is at once minimalist, modern white-on-white hip while instantly transporting the incoming 'bibber into a time of key parties and
Naugahyde, when words like groovy were out of sight, and Bob Newhart and Suzanne Pleshette were weekly icons of fashion. The place itself just makes you want to be cool and jive for a while.
They offer daily flights, and their wines by the glass of course include many wineries of the northwest and California, but they incorporate international choices as well. On the bottle side, you can order an Oregon chardonnay for $17.00 or a French dessert wine for $450.00. Likewise, the relatively small food menu can pair you up with a dish of mac and cheese or escargot.
But Robert doesnt stop there. Just a few doors down on the same side of the street, hes gone and done that crazy hip to classic kitsch thing again at Thatch Tiki Bar.
Pour Wine Bar & Bistro, 2755 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 288-POUR
Thatch Tiki Bar
And again, theres that instant transporting thing going on. If youre the right age you know who you are you grew up with the tiki aesthetic, and youll immediately feel right at home at Thatch. If youre a newbie, youve seen places like this in movies, and youll start looking for all the paraphernalia that will confirm its tiki-ness. Dont worry, its there. From the bridge you have to walk over to get in thats mandatory to the bamboo, duh, to the puffer fish lamps and PuPu platter, oh yeah, this place is the real Bradys-on-Break deal.
Thatch Tiki Bar, 2733 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 281-8454
Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine and the Basil Bar
Upstairs is a lovely, simple dining room in a home setting. Out back is a very large eating area, much of it underneath a canopy of fresh, green leaves. And downstairs, well Ive never been to Bangkok, but something tells me this low-ceilinged, cramped cool atmosphere is similar to what I might find. Its William Gibson ex-pat sexy. Its short thresholds and tall bartenders. Its a cigarette waiting to be puckered and a drink etching itself warmly down the throat. Its fabulous.
As for the food, havent yet tried it, but I can attest to the freshness of at least some of the ingredients cause I saw them.
Sweet Basil Thai and the Basil Bar, 3135 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 335-0411 www.sweetbasilor.com
For quite some time now, Nicholas' Restaurant has been a word of mouth wonder when it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine. Now the owners have opened a second restaurant in Irvington with all your Lebanese favorites, but, whereas Nicholas offers a small dining area and no alcohol, Arabian Breeze is larger, more equipped to handle events and has an upstairs balcony as well as a bar that serves alcohol and hookah. The décor, including the flowing ceiling and curtains upstairs, is largely handmade by the owner. And a huge oven imported from back home bakes up homemade flatbread served gratis with Zatar while you wait for your meal.
Arabian Breeze, 3223 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 445-4700 www.arabianbreezeportland.com
Irvington Businesses and Shopping
Cotton Cloud Furniture and Futons
What were you doing when you were twenty? Well, if you resemble in the slightest what was once this slacker scribe you werent exactly busy constructing a large business that would still be thriving 25 years later. But thats what Terri Treat was up to. She could sew very well and, by darn, she wanted to make herself a bed. So she did. 25years later, she still is, only the operation is so big now that she requires a manufacturing plant located just a few blocks from the showroom, which itself is enormous.
Every futon mattress latex, wool, memory foam, you name it is handcrafted, and Cotton Cloud has the largest selection of futon covers in the Portland area. Because everything is handmade, they can easily custom make your futon size to fit your needs, and the covers can be custom fitted for just about any surface you might want pimped, say a window seat, for example. All this, and now much of what she carries can be made with all organic materials.
Cotton Cloud Furniture and Futons, 701 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 335-0758
A combo boutique offering both new and consignment clothing and accessories, Dollys Fashions dresses a woman from head to toe with skirts, tops, shoes, and even jewelry. The Irvington neighborhood of Portland has been good to Dollys in their three and a half years in business, and so they recently expanded their showroom, nearly doubling in size.
Dolly's Fashions, 925-B NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 331-1141
Great Wine Buys
Clocking in over 20 years, Great Wine Buys is one of the oldest wine retail shops of its kind in the Portland area. Serving the Irvington
neighborhood well, John and Dawn Kennedy have been pouring and selling all types of wine
at all prices from reasonable and accessible to expensive and geeky.
Great Wine Buys, 1515 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 287-2897. www.greatwinebuys.com
Helen Bernhard Bakery
Baking Your Dreams Come True Since 1924. What began as a hobby over 83 years ago is alive and well and full of tradition and yum on Northeast Broadway. The all-female counter staff is attired in uniforms complete with hair bonnet and will sell you homemade pies, tarts, breads, rolls, cookies, Danish, coffee cakes, treats, you name it. Helen Bernard, the woman, used to bake up cakes and goodies for her family and friends, and thats still the idea at the bakery. Although they bake up fresh in their onsite kitchen well over a hundred different types and flavors of the above-mentioned categories, their primary focus is baking up birthday cakes for their neighbors. They also have a very sizeable wedding cake operation, but, as a lifetime typically has more birthdays than bashes devoted to nuptials, aging is celebrated more at Helen Bernard. Makes sense. After all, spoonful of sugar
Helen Bernhard Bakery, 1717 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. (503) 287-1251 www.helenbernhardbakery.com
Portland Couple's Counseling Center
At Portland Couples Counseling Center, learn how to nurture the most important relationship in your life. Dr. Steven M. Cohn has the education, training, and experience to help you with all of your relationship challenges, and he offers confidential, safe, and professional marriage and relationship counseling at the Portland Couples Counseling Center in Irvington. Visit www.marriage-and-relationship-counseling.com to learn more. To schedule a telephone interview with Dr. Cohn, please phone: 503-282-8496, ext. 2.
Portland Couple's Counseling Center, 1940 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232. 503-282-8496, ext. 2. www.marriage-and-relationship-counseling.com
Root Whole Body
Root Whole Body, at the Irvington Corner shopping plaza at 2526 NE 15th Avenue. "Root is a resource for enlightened and curious people who embrace holistic health care. They offer Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Intro to Yoga, with four or more yoga classes offered each day. There are many Portland Yoga studios, and I like this one because it is in my neighborhood (always a plus!), and the studio is bright and sunny with lots of windows, with a hardwood floor.
Root Whole Body, 2526 NE 15th Avenue, Portland, OR 97212. 503-288-7668 www.rootwholebody.com
Enjoy handcrafted gelato flavors of all varieties. Mio Gelato is a hugely popular neighborhood destination during the summer months. Also serving panini, delicious coffee, and other tasty treats year-round.
Mio Gelato, 1517 NE Brazee St. Portland, OR 97212. www.mio-gelato.com (503) 288-4800
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Zip Code 97212
Approximate commute times: 7 minutes to Downtown Portland by car, 18 minutes by bus, 32 minutes by train,15 minutes by bike, depending on traffic and time of day.
Elementary school: Irvington Elementary School
Middle school: Fernwood Middle School
High school: Grant High School
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