23 June 2015

[pdx_art] The Spritely Bean Comics Cafe … A Grand Opening Six Months in the Making

It is true of some places that, even though they have a certain inception date, they can't help but start sharing the awesome before they're actually open

Such is The Spritely Bean.

The Spritely Bean (http://www.spritelybean.com) is a little comic cafe and a brand new thing at 5829 SE Powell Blvd, in an area of Southeast Portland that is, quizzically, nearly devoid of decent coffee places or bookstores of any kind. So a need is being answered here, and answered with a really delightful, very Portland approach.

Coffee, zines, and comics. We see nothing the matter with this.

You step inside and the place is comfortable, appropriately lit, inviting. It's got graphic novels, zines, and comics in the back, and a wonderful place you can spread out and enjoy quality time in the neighborhood all around. It's the sort of place you can spread out in and enjoy your coffee, your comics … or a really nifty selection of cheap eats and delightfully unexpected finds like Vietnamese iced coffee.

Adam (pictured left) and Huynh are two of the most affable and warm people we've met in a while. They run the place and are its friendly heart and soul. How affable? I'd met Adam once … just once, mind you … and when we crossed paths in the dealer floor at Linework NW a couple of months back he recognized me instantly and greeted me as an old friend.

You can't fake friendliness like that. Free hot dogs too!

This last Sunday was the official Grand Opening. Spritely Bean has been open for about four or six months now, but they had to make it official some time, and now it is. I was happy to see the people coming through on mostly a constant basis … it's a destination place, obviously (we happily ran into Bwana Spoons, who happened by and spoke with the proprietors for a while, and left with the most delectable looking frappé), but also a neighborhood place in a neighborhood that needs a place like this. The patronage was steady, which is always a good sign.

We looked at what they had to offer and what they have coming up, and this is really a place more people should work into their regular haunts. There are figure drawing sessions that have been held and will be held; you'll see a rich and exciting selection of zines (see the picture right); I discovered Modest Medusa there (a couple of books are still on offer). There is very much the indie and the local spirit there, everything that Portland's supposed to be famous for, artistically, is all here in microcosm.

It's not in our neighborhood but it's not too far out of the way, and it's something that that particular neighborhood has needed for a very long time. I'm happy to see it there, the neighbors are happy to see it there, and I'm hoping it has a long happy life in that area.

I'm not one for foreshadowing and omens,but finding a 2B drawing pencil in the middle
of an open table is significant somehow.
We're going to go by there on a regular basis, and I suggest everyone does.

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