Food News

Portland Artist Mike Bennett Opens an Installation Space and Café in St. Johns

At Wonderwood Springs, drink mead lattes among 400 hand-painted medieval fantasy-themed pieces.

By Katherine Chew Hamilton October 17, 2022

Mike Bennett at Wonderwood Springs Café

Local artist and self-described “public joy creator” Mike Bennett is all over Portland, from his “Slow Down” signs to last Halloween’s Cryptozoo exhibit to this summer’s Dinolandia installation. On October 15, in collaboration with See See Coffee, he opened a new installation space called Wonderwood, which will be home to rotating art exhibits. Next to it is a permanent café called Wonderwood Springs, where guests can drink coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, watch live performances, and be immersed in even more art. 

A glimpse into the current exhibit at Maplewood

Wonderwood’s current exhibit is called The Scourge of Castle Maplehold, and it’s full of hand-painted figures including a rat king and a tree wizard. It’ll be on display through the end of 2022, with a new exhibit to follow in spring 2023. It’ll be open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a suggested donation of $8. A parking lot maker’s faire is scheduled for October 30; check Wonderwood's site for further information.

Marshmallow-topped hot chocolate from Wonderwood Springs

Wonderwood Springs, on the other hand, is a permanent space, home to over 400 hand-painted characters and items, plus a collection of antiques to complement the theme. Alongside standard coffee shop drinks, breakfast sandwiches, and pastries from the Sparrow Bakery in St. Johns, the café also offers themed drinks, including a mead latte made with black tea, orange zest, and honey (no alcohol, though), a spiced latte with sweet potato, and hot chocolate topped with marshmallows—your choice whether you want the mushroom version or not. The café is open Tuesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It’ll also soon be a spot for live music, karaoke, and trivia; check the café’s site for details. 

Wonderwood, 7410 N Chicago St, and Wonderwood Springs Café, 8811 N Lombard St