The Pearl Turns Something Old into Something New

Oct 02, 2005

Californians take note of the bourgeoning Pearl District as the West Coast’s newest hub for shopping, dining and culture

The pedestrian-friendly Brewery Blocks, art galleries, fine dining and brew pubs are drawing visitors to Portland’s vibrant Pearl District.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports, “News flash: When we weren't looking, Portland got hip.”

“While other cities were paving over or bulldozing places that were no longer profitable, Portland was turning them into attractive and affordable parks, restaurants, shops, music venues, art galleries, restaurants and brew pubs. It's managed to pack in all the big-city attractions while keeping urban aggravations to a minimum.”

“The Pearl District is a similar marriage of modern culture and historic preservation. This is where young cosmopolitans, surrounded by plasma TVs and plates of Thai salad rolls, choose from 100 tap beers within the exposed brick walls and 24-foot ceilings of Henry Weinhard's original brewery. Today's Brewery Blocks house not only Henry's 12th Street Tavern but retailers, offices, restaurants, Peet's Coffee and possibly the world's most ornate Whole Foods market, in a former Chevrolet dealership facing the old brewery's smokestack.”

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