Another Portland institution is shuttering: after 23 years in business, Johnny Sole is closing. The indie shop opened on NW 21st Avenue in 1993 under the guide of John Plummer and Gretchen Plummer. After one more relocation the biz set up camp in its current Woodlark Building, at 815 SW Alder, 16 years ago.
That means for two decades, Johnny Sole has been a premium stop for everything from sturdy boots to sexy wedges. Two years ago, the Woodlark Building was sold to developers with the intention of converting the space into a hotel. Johnny Sole initially planned to relocate to 800 SW Alder, formerly Reynolds Eyewear, but recently decided to close instead. Co-owner John Plummer notes that “high rent and competition weren’t the tipping point,” and that “the developer’s proposed buyout was the most viable option for all parties.” Though the shop could have re-opened in a new space, Plummer says they were ultimately more excited about the prospect of new endeavors.
“We’re happy, and really looking forward to what’s next,” says Gretchen Plummer, expressing gratitude for 23 years of community love and going out on a high note. Currently everything in the store is marked down 30 to 60 percent, including brands like Frye, BedStu, Wolverine, and Hudson.
815 SW Alder St.