This week, we had the pleasure of chatting with Angela Gaither, one of the owners of Parkside restaurant in the Kenton neighborhood. Parkside is located on the corner of N. Brandon and N. Willis, just across from Kenton Park, in the North Portland Kenton neighborhood. They are a bar for everyone! You can also read more on their website, here!
Question 1: Why did you choose the Kenton neighborhood for a business?
It was a series of fortunate events. My husband and I have been working in restaurants since we were both about 15 years old; we love what we do. We always wanted to have our own spot, and as we were living in the St Johns neighborhood; we were actually looking at small storefronts there. There were a lot of commercial businesses and lots available in St. Johns, but nothing that quite worked for us.
North Portland in general is great, there are so many small pockets and wonderful neighborhoods. Our friend, Britta, actually found Parkside for sale on Craigslist.
Britta showed it to Dan [another owner at Parkside], Dan showed it to Jeff [the third Parkside owner, and Angela’s husband], Jeff showed it to me. It was an existing business, so we started popping in to it to check it out.
We loved the neighborhood; and liked that Parkside was tucked away on a quiet little corner. We also thought that we could offer neighbors something a little different than what was already there. We wanted a welcoming neighborhood spot for first dates, families and everyone in between.
Question 2: How is the neighborhood changing?
Like every neighborhood in Portland there is a lot of development happening.
Of course we want to keep the neighborhood small and quaint but the reality is growth is all around us. I think the best way to keep that small, quaint feeling is staying true to ourselves and make it for and about the community. We feel fortunate to be a part of a small business community that is very involved in the growth and direction of the neighborhood.
Question 3: I heard Parkside is participating in the neighborhood association; what’s that like?
I’m part of the KBA (the Kenton Business Association), and we collaborate with the KNA (the Kenton Neighborhood Association). Most of the small businesses participate in these neighborhood associations and most everyone that own businesses in Kenton works in their business. It’s really great, because you can see other people who are in the same boat as you and who are working to make this neighborhood what it is. The KBA & KNA are really hustling to do a lot in the neighborhood, including putting together the street fair every year and raising funds to fix and paint our beloved Paul Bunyan landmark.
Question 4: What’s new at Parkside?
Boozy punch and lawn games! Our Parkside Punch is back for the summer. It’s a fun way to sip and share on those hot days. We will feature a different punch each week to be ordered as a single cocktail or in a pitcher to share. We have lawn games for people to borrow and take over to the park, bocce, kub, spike ball, & frisbee. More games being added to the collection regularly.
Question 5: Do you think you’d ever look at another neighborhood for a second Parkside location?
Every neighborhood needs a good spot to post up, enjoy a drink and a fresh bite. We will always keep options open for a second location. Parkside is in Kenton to stay, this is a neighborhood we feel lucky to be rooted in.
And if you’d like to help paint Paul Bunyan! http://paintpaulpdx.org/