Community Happy Hour

This past Friday started off on the dreary side weather wise. But the afternoon ended up a whole lot sunnier thanks to the good company of Leftbank tenants. Folks from throughout the building gathered for Leftbank’s Late Summer Happy Hour to mingle and connect with one another. We know how important community is to all of us. We also know that it can be hard to break away from the work we love for a little fun too. This happy hour gathering was a big success thanks to all the smiling faces who left their desks a little early. Sincere thanks go out to everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet and mingle with fellow Leftbankers. A special thanks to our friends at Stingray Cafe for treating us to beer and serving up some great food. See you next time!


Just a reminder that the Leftbank Cafe will be open this Thursday, 12/10 until 8pm.  We will have Happy Hour from 2-8pm with some wonderfully delicious, piping hot soups together with palate tingling local beers and regional wines.  Check out this week’s Happy Hour Menu.

Stop by and see us.  You’ll be happy you did.

Wanna get happy?

I wanted to share some good news with my fellow Leftbankers:

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week (December 2nd, 3rd and 4th) the Leftbank Cafe will be open all day until 8pm with HAPPY HOUR from 5 – 8pm – so come down and join us for some happiness!

We will have an assortment of beer (and Upright, of course) and local wines – with pairing suggestions to go with our wonderful soups.  There will also be a very tasty charcuterie plate that can be paired with just about anything.

And, of course, being as this is happy hour – the prices will make you happy too.

big smiles, bright lights

Last evening marked yet another big moment in the early growth of the Leftbank…  it was the coupling of two events – a ritual monthly(ish) happy hour and the GRAND opening open house of the GreenVille Project.

Celebrating the opening of its new Portland headquarters here in the building, GreenVille founders Jae Larsen, Eva Longoria and Butch Klein did it in style.   They invited the Mayor, pedicabs, models, big wigs and small wigs alike.    We invited the rest of the Leftbank community, and all rolled together, this one was a scene.       Food, drink, music, a melting ice cap sculpture Jae carved herself, a TV crew (see their work here), and even some trees played a role.    Those came courtesy of Portland’s Friends of Trees, a beautifully simple, dedicated, and effective non-profit who are ‘greening’ the city in the most literal, tangible way.

We also took time to welcome more new tenants to the Leftbank community…  First Gameplan, a potent bunch who specialize in capacity building for non-profit groups and organizations (presently moving into suite 208), and then gallopowell studio (taking 210 – and yeah, I am the ‘powell’ in gallopowell). We both got baskets filled with gifts from the other tenants, and while carrying around a basket at a party is not the way I usually roll, the symbolic transition from working-on/developing/imagining this place to being a ‘tenant’ here felt damned fine.   Now a day later, thinking about digging in and doing work alongside GreenVille, Gameplan, PFM, FMYI, Blue Tree, dc202 and the rest feels even better.        Let’s get to work!

the happiest hour.

a few weeks back, Leftbank had a big day. It was May 28th, 2009 – and the end of all major construction operations was upon us. Of course, there were no protests or great controversy in the face of these operations, and thankfully no real suffering, but there was often struggle and often pain.   …ok,  that might be overstating it a bit.  But it was the culmination of an enormous amount of work, and countless long, long days.             –and more importantly, cause for celebration.

We celebrated in the newly minted lobby, had drinks from the still-drying cafe bar (no worries, just mineral oil!), and ate delicious food from leftbank friend and partner, Bon Appétit.     One thing that struck me so was the sheer number of people that joined us.. and more than that, in fact, was that I only knew a small portion of them.    I’ve been involved since the ramshackle beginnings of this endeavor, a hand (or finger) in what seems like just about every aspect of the project, and come to know a great many good people in the process… But seeing so many new faces was straight astounding.       And mixed in were great tenants seeming already at home, like folks from Portland Farmers Market and the gang from Upstream (not to mention Alex and his Upright brews, too), plus an equally exceptional crop of new tenants, too.    That eve, we officially welcomed Bill, Gary, Holly and co. (who together make up SOLIDCORE, JHL design, ORANGEWALLstudios and intelligent design), The GreenVille Project, and Old Town Computers into the fold.

All told, once again, a fine, fine time.     Thanks to all who made it so.    Onward we go.

happy wrap up!

The Leftbank community is picking up speed!  On a recent Friday night we shook off the week and basked in the glow of shared inspiration.  People who’ve been in on the project since its inception, new tenants, hopeful tenants, long-time partners and friends of Leftbank gathered for drinks and a little respite between work and the weekend.

What began as a word-of-mouth, BYOB happy hour evolved in the week before it happened.  At the 11th hour, we found ourselves expecting upwards of 100 people and wondering whether we’d have on hand the food and drink to keep everyone smiling.  Fully manifesting the spirit of community that drives the place, new tenants and friends stepped up to make it work.  Bon Appetit (who will operate Leftbank Café in a matter of weeks) brought in a feast and eased the pressure on the potluck offerings.  Good friends at Tropical Salvage spent the afternoon ferrying gorgeous (and exceedingly heavy) tropical hardwood tables and benches up to the room where we met.

Besides food, drink and excited conversation all evening, everyone was dazzled by a slideshow that Andy put together.  I was awed watching before and after images of the healing of the building, and I know we all shared that.  Then, lucky me!  I got to extend real welcomes to Upright Brewing Company, Upstream Public Health, and Portland Farmers Market.  Our earliest tenants are shining examples of the work we’re making space for.  And two groups in process to move into Leftbank also joined in the celebrating.  One of them, The Greenville Project, delighted with us in the ceremony of the occasion by making a photo op of the signing of their LOI.

I left the party exhausted and giddy.  Looking forward to lots more of that.  Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.