- FROM THE ASHES: Two bar spaces with miserable histories are set for revival this year. Frank Faillace, owner of Dante’s, Devil’s Point and Lucky Devil Lounge, is reopening Old Town’s Star Theater (formerly Level, Mystic Theatre, Five Star Theatre, Bliss, etc.) as a music venue. >> The building at 6526 SE Foster Road that has, in the past two years, been Brown’s Bar, Reno’s Bar and Knuckleheads, will be reincarnated as Gemini Lounge. Owner Seasons Koll, who also owns Hawthorne gift shop Presents of Mind, says Gemini will be a “cocktail lounge with a feel like Sapphire Lounge, Dots or Gold Dust Meridian with live music.” Also, “flocked wallpaper, vintage lighting, great retro art and other touches to make it date- and happy-hour-friendly.”Credits: Andrew Beeston
- NEW YORK-BOUND: The Oregon Symphony hasn’t even completed its historic first performance at Carnegie Hall this May—but it’s already going again in 2013. The orchestra announced last week that it had been chosen to participate in the first and third Spring for Music gatherings that include other worthy North American orchestras from Baltimore, Albany, Cincinnati and elsewhere. “To be invited twice is clear proof we are in the artistic big leagues,” says music director Carlos Kalmar.
- GET ON THE BUS: Not busy enough with his two Northeast Portland
Asian joints (Thai Noon and Thai Seasons), restaurateur Chip
Rothenberger has just debuted Burgers or Bust Cafe, which serves
free-range meat and vegan burgers in a converted 1992 school bus at the
corner of Northeast 23rd Avenue and Alberta Street (updates at
twitter.com/burgersorbust). He also promises “affordable country
breakfasts” including eggs, bacon, home fries and hotcakes for weekend
brunch and says he might step on the gas and motor around town for
lunches in the future.
- R.I.P. (AGAIN): The
blows just keep coming for the local music community. On Saturday, Feb.
19, Nick Christmas III, the drummer for the Norman Sylvester Band
during the late ’80s and ’90s and the current time-keeper for Blues
Train, died when he lost control of his vehicle on an icy roadway and
crashed into an embankment off North Portland Road. Christmas, 63, had
just retired from his job at the Bonneville Power Administration and was
beginning to play the drums again after a few years away from live
- FREE OSCARS FOR EVERYONE: Possibly because all the people who attended fancy, expensive Oscar screenings are now unemployed (or dead), Portland’s big-screen Academy Awards events are free this year. The Academy, Bagdad and Hollywood theaters are all showing the Oscars gratis this Sunday, Feb. 25, with beer on sale.