Get to know the glittering jewel of Portland's incredible neighborhoods. Our brokers share their favorite must-see places in the chic and historic Pearl District.
History of the Pearl District
While the word "pearl" conjures up images of a shiny, polished gem, Portland's Pearl District was originally a gritty area that was home to railroads, warehouses, and industrial buildings. In the mid-1980s, urban renewal began transforming the neighborhood into a popular district known for art galleries, charming boutiques, and trendy restaurants.
At one time, the district was known simply as the Triangle, but a search began for a more satisfying name. The Rose Arts Magazine presented a list of suggestions, and the Pearl District ended up gaining favor as a reference to the artists who were setting up studios in warehouses being converted to lofts.
- Jamison Square - 810 NW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
Green spaces were a major part of the plan for the Pearl District, and the best-known may be Jamison Square. This pocket-sized park, just under one acre, is a favorite of families because of its centerpiece fountain. Designed to replicate a tidal pool, the fountain features a waterfall that cascades into a continually refilling basin. Park hours are 5 a.m. - midnight daily.
- First Thursday - NW 13th Ave. & NW Irving St., Portland, OR 97210
First Thursday is one of three monthly art walks held in Portland. Artists are on hand at Pearl District galleries to discuss their work, as well as selling their pieces at street stands. Live music and refreshments complete the picture. Hours are 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. and admission is free.
- Powell's City of Books - 1005 W. Burnside St., Portland, OR 97209
Founded in 1971, Powell's City of Books is a true Portland landmark. The store takes up an entire city block with nine color-coded rooms that encompass more than 3,500 different sections. Book lovers from around the country flock to the Rare Book Room, which includes autographed first editions and other items of interest. Powell's is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- Recycled Chic Boutique - 239 NW 13th Ave., Suite 209, Portland, OR 97209
It's no surprise that Portland residents want to look stylish while still observing their commitment to the environment. Recycled Chic Boutique offers a thoughtfully curated selection of gently-used designer clothing and accessories, from casual streetwear to high fashion. You're likely to find brands such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, and Jimmy Choo represented. Hours are noon - 4 p.m. on weekdays.
- Fuller's Coffee Shop - 136 NW 9th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
Tradition is alive and well in the Pearl District at Fuller's Coffee Shop. This old-school diner opened in 1947 and still retains the delightful retro ambiance. Instead of booths or tables, take a seat at the classic U-shaped counters with swivel stools. Breakfast is served all day, as well as comfort food favorites such as BLTs, burgers, and egg salad sandwiches. Fuller's is open 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. daily except Sunday when starting time is 8 a.m.
- Oven and Shaker - 1134 NW Everett St., Portland, OR 97209
Pizza may be considered casual food, but it's serious business at Oven and Shaker. Chef Cathy Whims, a multiple James Beard award nominee, was inspired by numerous trips to Italy. Oven and Shaker's pizza begins with their signature 70-year-old sourdough starter and features fresh local ingredients for the toppings. Pies are hand-tossed and fired in a Milanese wood-burning oven that was transported brick-by-brick from Europe. Hours are 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, noon - 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon - 9 p.m. Sunday.
- Portland Center Stage - 128 NW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
From its origins as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage has grown to become one of the top 20 regional theaters in the country. In addition to plays, Center Stage hosts events such as art exhibits, improv shows, and live music.
- The Big Legrowlski - 812 NW Couch St., Portland, Or 97209
At The Big Legrowlski shows are on every night, featuring the best local musicians, open jams, and dance parties with top DJs. Hours are 7 p.m. - midnight Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. - midnight Wednesday through Saturday. Showtime is 7 p.m. Cover charge runs $5-$10, with no cover for open jams.
No one knows Portland homes for sale like our cheerful and experienced brokers. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to learn more.