The Hawthorne shopping district in Portland has been compared to the Haight in San Francisco. It’s full of restaurants, boutiques, bars, and even a Powell’s bookstore. The strip runs from SE 50th to SE 30th, and then picks back up around 20th or so. There is a food cart pod at the west end, SE 12th Ave, and Mt Tabor is at the very far end of Hawthorne Blvd.
If you continue past the main shopping and entertainment of Hawthorne Blvd, the Hawthorne Bridge is something of a landmark in itself. It’s a vertical-lift bridge which occasionally makes way for tall ships on the river and which carries over 30,000 vehicles. Every day a counter detects a cyclist landing on the western side of the bridge and the number frequently exceeds 1,000 bikers.
One central landmark of the Hawthorne shopping and entertainment district is the Baghdad Theater. Now owned and operated by local food/hospitality chain McMenamins, the historic theater is a wonder to behold. The ceiling soars above and the seating is comfortable and ample enough for movies and large events alike. The concession includes the full menu from the building’s full-service restaurant so moviegoers can enjoy a local brew and a delicious burger while watching a first-run movie on their new screen, which is 50% larger than before.
Powell’s on Hawthorne is not quite as big as downtown’s City of Books, but it is a large store which features readings on a regular basis. A reading at the Hawthorne Powell’s is likely to be from an independent publisher or even a local poet. Powell’s is one of the few truly independent bookstores in the nation and they are true to their independent spirit in that they put full support behind their fellow independents.
Dining on Hawthorne offers nothing if not a diversity of choice. From the vegan fare at Harlow to pub grub at Bar of the Gods, a person can find exactly what she wants. Residents will be happy to find a lot of choice in grocery fare. New Seasons has a small store at 411st, Fred Meyer is at Cesar Chavez, and Sauvie Island’s Kruger’s Farms operates a farm market at 23rd.
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