Friday Night In Woodlawn, Part 1

Too full!

Dear Liza,

Last night Grandpa Nelson had an evening of music planned, but first we needed to have dinner. He isn’t fussy about food, but gave us some ideas we hadn’t thought of.

Swiss Hibiscus is a Swiss restaurant up on NE 14th and their Online menu looked good! Onion soup, raclettes (bread with melted cheeeeese) and escargots all sounded like just the thing for this cold, almost-winter evening. But when we got there, we realized that we should have called for reservations. The tiny restaurant was booked up with no relief in sight. Sigh.

We were on Alberta Street, which is a main drag in the northeast, but places were filling up for dinner. The Tin Shed, which is more of a bar with food, was also full. Across the street was a highly decorated (seems a bit early for Christmas…) shop called Frock, but no food.

No Food!

We finally decided to make life easy and get a Lyft to our final destination, The Oregon Public House, and eat there. It wouldn’t be escargots or raclettes, but that was fine.

The Oregon Public House is a special place. Its motto is “Have a pint, change the world.” It is the only non-profit pub in the whole country. Let me explain.


You order drinks and food from the bar. Burgers, sandwiches, fries and sweet potato tots are the fare, all tasty and inexpensive. You pay and then decide which of the charities you want the profit from your meal to go to.

Food for Families, The Northeast Portland Tool Library, Keep Oregon Well, and Carpe Mundi, are just a few. There is even a Give-O-Meter, a small wooden counter fitted with beer steins and clear plastic tubes, that lets you donate cash to the different charities if you feel like it.


The pub itself is family friendly and lively, with small people making laps of the place accompanied by their patient parents, as well as hipper folks chatting at tables. All the employees were young and cheerful.

After dinner, we went upstairs for the second part of our adventure. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow!

Love, Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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