Union Way's Newest Tenant Sells California Culture
For nearly a year, there's been a hole at the center of Union Way, the upscale West End shopping arcade just south of Powell's City of Books. And we're not just talking the one tooled into your ($135 Will Leather Goods Napa leather Industrialist) billfold.
From the sidewalk, the four-year-old glassed-in gallery still looks flush, with a street-facing Boxer Ramen and high-end, mostly local retailers like Danner Boots, Quin Candy, and luxury ablutions purveyor Spruce Apothecary. But over summer 2016, Canadian luxury cashmere brand Kit and Ace abandoned its pocket-sized digs further inside the arcade, followed a few months later by next-door neighbor Little T Baker. Word on the street is that high rents and lackluster foot traffic played a role in both vacancies.
Now, the mini-mall the New York Times dubbed "So Portland It Hurts"—albeit a "Portland" far removed from the Vaseline Alley establishments it replaced—will have a California lifestyle brand as its beating heart, occupying the former Kit and Ace space. (Little T's former spot remains empty.) On Friday, May 5, Sacramento-based outdoor retailer All Good opens its second flagship store here, aiming to sell Portlanders—or, at least, tourists staying across the street at the Ace Hotel—its #vanlife-ready t-shirts, slogan-emblazoned tie-dye, and windbreakers blocked in a circa-1990s color palette. (The "grand opening" is June 5.)
According to a May 3 press release, All Good founder Jason Maggio is "stoked to have new adventures, make new friends and spread our ‘All Good Never Better’ vibe here in the PNW."
What vibe is that, exactly? From the retailer's website: "All Good celebrates California culture to its absolute fullest. There’s the clichéd story, ‘You can be getting fresh pow pow lines in Tahoe in the morning, catching a world-class right at Steamers in Santa Cruz in the afternoon and throwing dubs up at a Snoop x YG bloods and crips together forever tour at night.' Its [sic] sounds a little outlandish but it’s true and all those rich experiences are purely Californian. As is All Good."