Portland's only 24-hour coffee shop closes on Powell
Portland's 24-hour coffee shop, "Southeast Grind" at 1223 S.E. Powell Boulevard, closed its doors on Saturday, October 26. For the previous ten years, the shop had been a unique, safe, reliable spot to come at any time for coffee, healthful snacks, music, and uninterrupted wifi Internet service, in a comfortable laid-back atmosphere, year 'round.
Owner Kacey Birch and a partner opened the coffee shop in April of 2009 to serve the community, feature local talent, and offer "healthy, vegan, organic, and sustainable" food. A recent Facebook post for the site announced, "With much gratitude and a heavy heart, we are closing our doors. It's been a wonderful decade, and we feel so honored to have been your baristas."
Birch had tried to interest potential buyers for some time, but was unsuccessful. The building would require major renovations, she said, so consequently the business was closed.
The site was known for its well-worn charm, serving as a sort of living room for students and patrons to working on laptops at all hours. Anyone who made a purchase there was welcome to stay as long as they liked.
"Southeast Grind" was also a place where handbills from local businesses and for those connected with local events could be posted, providing a bulletin board for the community. It was a special place for night owls who needed somewhere to gather and finish up last-minute classwork and projects.
Birch also ran a coffee shop in the City of Milwaukie – "The Milwaukie Grind" – from 2012 until 2014. She recently gave birth to her third child, so now she is planning a new career as a fulltime Mom. Her favorite memory from the S.E. Powell shop is having met her husband there – who, she says, was a regular.
In the last week of operation, hundreds of friends and patrons dropped in to reminisce, say their goodbyes, and remember what a special place Southeast Grind had been in their lives.
Coffee may still be had at any hour, of course, at 24-hour restaurants – one of which, the Original Hotcake House, is only a couple of blocks west, at 1002 S.E. Powell Boulevard. But, to many, it may just not be the same.
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