From what I’ve experienced, there are three businesses here in Portland, Oregon that ostensibly were granted a license to print money.
One is Voodoo Doughnut. Witness the half hour long line in front of their store on any given day, rain or shine. At one point, they stopped accepting new ‘friends’ on Facebook (though its cool if you still ‘like’ them). When introducing ourselves as Portlanders to the other passengers on a recent Caribbean sail, our new friends from Indianapolis wondered simply: “Have you ever been to Voodoo Doughnut?” Like the Japanese Garden or Multnomah Falls, Voodoo Doughnut is a legitimate tourist destination. The donuts? Average. No matter, they can’t seem to make them fast enough.
Another business that is perpetually packed is Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). We won’t even attempt to go there on a weekend night. Any given weekday, the parking lots – both of them – are either full or at near capacity. HUB has great kid’s meals and a play area for children. By the by, parents can sip any of their dozen or so freshly brewed beers. And the food is really good too. And with a crowd like this, HUB can and does charge a premium. Still, when duty calls, I go there to get my Steak Sandwich fix. And it satisfies every time.
Of the three, Playdate PDX is perhaps the most compelling. Playdate is a giant indoor play structure located in Northwest Portland. The perfect place to bring your young kids and wear them out. And as parent who has tried to chase their kids through the maze, we can get pretty worn out as well. If so, Playdate has you covered. Depending on the time of day (or your mood): Coffee and/or Beer. The part I thought was most clever though was when they asked me if I wanted to start a tab. The various POS systems are apparently linked, so when you cash out at the play structure, you can settle for anything you bought from the restaurant.
So now that my kids are entertaining themselves, and since it’s so convenient, maybe I’ll have a beer after all. . . .