Montavilla Neighborhood Business Guide
Way back in the 1870s, Montavilla was called Mt. Tabor Villa Addition, but this cumbersome moniker was soon shortened. It was a sleepy farming community known mainly for its orchards, though it didn’t stay that way for long.
In the mid-1880s, a few of the farmers sold some of their land to developers, who promptly parceled it out and commenced construction on residential subdivisions and a new business district. By 1891, Montavilla had three grocers, a livery stable, two butchers, a bank, and two blacksmiths. There was also a new post office and streetcar service. Residential lots sold for $100, and could be purchased for as little as $5 down. If only, right?
These days, Montavilla is one of the hippest neighborhoods east of the Willamette River. Its historic charm and close proximity to Mt. Tabor Park both make it a very desirable place to live. Of course, its friendly local businesses are a big part of the draw, too. Let’s get to know the small-business community in Portland’s lovely Montavilla neighborhood.
Getting Things Done in Montavilla: Construction and More
Are you thinking of building some raised garden beds? Maybe you’ve been wishing you had a half-pipe in your backyard? Whatever the case may be, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Mr. Plywood. This Montavilla staple stocks plenty of plywood, but that’s not all. They also carry drywall, insulation, builder’s hardware, wood stains, and more. Plus, they provide excellent customer service. Have questions? Just ask. The team at Mr. Plywood is more than happy to help.
Beets Auto Body
Hey look! It’s… a beet with a mustache? The Beets Auto Body sign is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Montavilla. This auto body shop is known locally for its excellent customer service, its quality workmanship, and its odd but effective marketing shtick.
Those in the know say, “Nobody Beets Beets.”
When you’ve got a big job to do, sometimes you need to bring in the heavy machinery. Of course, most of us don’t have a dump truck or power washer hanging around. Not to worry: Lewis Rental has you covered.
Montavilla’s Got Flavor! Food Options & More
Montavilla Farmer’s Market
Every Sunday from June to October, Montavilla residents flock to the Farmer’s Market at 76th and Stark for the locally grown produce and the lively atmosphere. In addition to fresh fruits and veggies, the market features locally raised meat and eggs, hummus, beer and wine, and ready-made dishes from up-and-coming restaurateurs.
And don’t forget to bring home some fresh cut flowers to liven up your home!
Flying Pie Pizzeria
Just east of the Montavilla Farmer’s Market, you’ll find Flying Pie Pizzeria, where the pies are delicious, the staff is friendly, the beer is cold, and the video games are always hungry for quarters. Flying Pie now has locations in Lake Oswego, Gresham, and Milwaukie, but this is the Portland original!
Current co-owner Ty Dupuis is a Montavilla native, and the spirit of neighborhood pride is definitely strong here.
Thatcher’s Lounge is another longstanding Montavilla institution. This place has been a neighborhood hangout for just about as long as local residents can remember. Laid back and unpretentious, Thatcher’s is the perfect spot for a round of beers with good friends.
Having Fun in Montavilla: Day & Night Entertainment Spots
Looking for something fun to do with the kiddos? Stop by PotteryFun, where you can create hand painted objets d’art without worrying about spilling paint on your carpet, or figuring out how to use your oven as a kiln. The folks at PotteryFun are pros at this whole pottery-painting thing, and they make the process fun and easy. When it’s all done, you’ll have a great memory and a keepsake that will last a lifetime.
The Academy Theater
The Academy Theater hosted its grand opening way back in 1948, and it was a popular local attraction until the 1970s, when it was shuttered. It sat neglected and unloved until 2006, when it was painstakingly restored to its former glory. Featuring a mix of art films, cult classics, and recent blockbusters, the Academy Theater in Montavilla has something for everyone. Oh, and the concession stand is way better than what you’ll find at the corporate multiplex: Flying Pie Pizza, Miyamoto Sushi, and snacks from Bipartisan Café.
Look Your Best in Montavilla: Shopping Options
Portland Garment Factory
Just walking by, you might not notice Portland Garment Factory, but they’re certainly on the radar of the fashion world. This shop is blowing up! They’ve done projects for Pendleton, Levi’s, New Balance, Alexa Stark, and church & state, just to name a few.
Portland’s known for its DIY ethos, and Union Rose embodies that spirit perfectly. Here, you’ll find a wide selection of handcrafted local goods, from botanical beauty products to bespoke dresses and jewelry. Support your local designers!
Portland’s Montavilla Neighborhood Has Pride!
One thing’s for certain: the Montavilla neighborhood in Portland has a lot going for it. And these aren’t the only businesses in the ‘hood; we simply didn’t have room to give shout-outs to all of our favorites on the first go-round (September 2015). Worry not, though, just give us a shout here if your business isn’t yet on the list, and we’ll be sure to add it pronto. Next month, we’ll add in another round of local businesses until the directory is complete! Until then, be sure to spend some time in Montavilla — you’ll quickly agree that it’s one of the coolest neighborhoods in PDX.
[Photos Via: Vintage Portland; Beets; Farmers Market;Flying Pie; Academy Theater; Montavilla]