During the midst of the late-aughts economic breakdown, empty storefronts dotted downtown like gravestone markers of the retail world. Seizing it as an opportunity, the Portland Business Alliance offered those empty spaces to would-be shop owners for pennies. (Literally—some spaces were $1.) The program wisely turned those sad spots into a holiday attraction. Now in its sixth year, the Pop Up Shop program has been incredibly successful becoming a launch pad for now beloved permanent spaces like Crafty Wonderland, Boys Fort and Bridge and Burn.
Now that the ol’ economy is healing from its deep wounds, empty shop spaces downtown are scarce. Turning its sights to Old Town/Chinatown, the PBA turned four vacant spaces into cute spaces filled to the brim with colorful gifts. Open now through Christmas Eve the shops are:
- Stubborn Stiles: posters, prints and jewelry
- Folk: cutting boards and custom wood furniture
- Draplin Design Co.: posters, Field Notes
- Omiyage: Japanese gifts
Located at 438 NW Broadway and 341 NW Fifth Avenue, hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11–7 pm, Sunday 12–5 pm, and closed on Mondays. Omiyage has special hours: Wednesday through Friday 11–6 pm, and Saturday–Sunday 12–5 pm.