A Walk to St. Johns Cinema & Pub

Edgefield on Sunday, Kennedy School on Monday, St. Johns Pub on Tuesday.  It’s a McMenamin’s week.  The walk from my house to St. Johns takes about as long as the walk to Kennedy School, but it feels much longer.  For whatever reason, that road has at least two spots where I always think, “Why am I not there yet?”.  This happens via foot, bike or car.  On the bus, I’m always reading so I don’t tend to notice specific points of “long”.  It’s just a long bus ride.

I started my walk at Cup & Saucer Cafe (because there was still not any food in the house).  An excellent tuna melt was consumed, as were two cups of green tea.  Not long into my walk, Mr. Schofield stopped to have his picture taken.

On the site where these two large houses now live, there used to be a tiny stucco house with an out-of-control Kiwi vine in the yard.  RIP another small-house-big-yard.

Super awesome light/address block.

I’m curious about this garage.  The double French doors are an interesting combination.

Exciting times in the Don Lee family.  I’m guessing baby Ben is probably a grandchild, given the age of the sign.

So much of Lombard is still full of old-school businesses.  Here is Western Meats, which always has the best painted windows. None of the new school places would have painted windows, but I love them! However, I notice the building is for sale. so perhaps Western Meats isn’t there any more.  [Pause for googling] Well, I found a web site, so perhaps they are still around.

This dilapidated garage is one part of the lot that includes a grand house that has fallen into overgrowth and despair.

Driving, or riding on the bus, I’ve always wondered why this lot hasn’t been developed.  Walking by I noticed the church (left side) guessed that the house next door is the parsonage and figured out that the church probably owns the lot.  They keep the grass in very nice shape, I must say.

Here’s the iconic Fabric World, whose merchandise had not turned over since 1972.  It was like going back in time to the fabric stores of my childhood.  The Yelp reviews say that the store was owned by an old woman who just kept it going, despite lack of sales/customers.  She has now died, and the contents have been liquidated.

Another landmark on the road to St. Johns.  This gas station sign, which always has pubic appreciations/recognitions.

Eagles Aerie which features Blue Collar wrestling.  St. Johns enjoys it’s blue collar status.  So much so that it’s made some interesting development choices.  Stay tuned.

We’re in transition on Lombard too.  You could buy this car wash lot.

I’ve always appreciated the continuation of the -N- in this sign.  Although I might have suggested the ampersand, were I the sign maker.

Check out Gary N John’s hours.  I so rarely see opening times on the half hour. And a random Thursday closure.

I love the dramatic names of these 70s era infill apartment complexes.

Today it’s a real-estate office, but back in the day I know that many of our regular readers can identify what chain establishment this building used to house. Some of us may have even worked for said chain establishment.

I like this stripped-down lock place.  It’ a landmark on the route.  I thought it had disappeared, but it turned out I just wasn’t as far along as I thought I was.

I’ve heard-tell that this is where a New Seasons will be built. 

I’ve always liked the cheerful paint job for this U-Haul place. 

Crossing the bridge over the railroad tracks.  Such a pretty bridge.  Also, yet another point where I think, “Am I not there yet?”

The bridge also affords a very nice view. 

Great poetry in motion outside the other Fred Meyer on Lombard.

Kruger’s farm stand, featuring not only delicious fruits and vegetables but also food carts.  Kruger started his farm stand when the weddings and concerts he had been hosting on his Sauvie Island farm were deemed in violation of the land-use laws. (Also, am I not there yet?)

Interesting tiny house infill. 

The other Videorama/West Coast Fitness on Lombard. 

There are a lot of small churches along Lombard.  This is the Portland Samoan Church.

City Farm!  New-school business.

The next three buildings/businesses have been built since I moved to North Portland in 2007.  They all fit the blue collar aesthetic of St. Johns.

Aside from Lady Secrets Fashion Clothing (my favorite store name on Lombard) this store also has really great window displays.

This is the point where I’m finally getting close to my destination.  It’s also a main focal point as you drive out of downtown St. Johns toward Portland.  It has a shack on it. 

This is a main focal point on the way into St. Johns.  A 7-11 was built there.

“They had a huge parcel of land in a prime location that could really make St. Johns beautiful.  And what do they build there?  A huge self-storage facility!”  A longtime St. Johns resident bemoaned to me.  I have to agree.  There was a car dealership that closed up shop. During construction I thought it might be something great, but it soon had the looks of every other self-storage facility in the nation. There’s still hope for the building in the front of the picture, but it’s a quite tiny hope.

My destination is in sight!  I love seeing movies at this theater because the building was part of the Lewis & Clark Exhibition in 1903.  It was floated down the river and served a variety of functions before becoming a McMenamins.  However, I’m early for my movie, so I continue on.

Another interesting looking church.

And look!  The North Portland Library.  I’ve never been, but I aim to change that.

The North Portland Library was tiny and cute and has a wealth of reference material about St. Johns and Portland.  I enjoyed poking about.

7 thoughts on “A Walk to St. Johns Cinema & Pub”

  1. Re: the green real estate place that was once a specific joint like one you and I may have once worked… When the one in Grinnell closed, they actually took the roof and any other features that might remind a passerby of that specific chain. It was very curious. But, I do not blame them for not wanting that decrepit building to be associated with them.

  2. There’s another former Pizza Hut (carry out and delivery only) in the other direction on Lombard that is being transformed into a coffee drive through. Soon, new people won’t know that it was once a franchise pizza place.

  3. "Blue collar" wrestling? I’m not sure that there’s such a thing as "white collar" wrestling (unless they’re implying that WWE has gone soft lol). The NoPo library is really pretty. I’m a sucker for a good brick building. Seems like this neighborhood is really in flux.

  4. I am really sad that Lady Secrets Fashion Clothing has moved. I found your blog because I was googling for a pic of it, as I am sad I never snapped one while I had the chance. But it seems the pics in this post are broken. 🙁 Do you have a photo of Lady Secrets Fashion Clothing?

    1. Thanks for the comment. I wasn’t aware that Lady Secrets has moved! I transferred the blog to a different platform and when I moved again, some of the pictures didn’t come with. I have plans to fix things, but it’s on the “eventually” list. In the meantime, I’ll email you a photo.

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