Hollywood Value Village, I really miss you…

Value Village of Hollywood
[photo by VJ Beauchamp]

Even though my neighborhood Value Village closed its doors early this month, I must still shed a tear or two. Soon after Halloween, I was on one of my weekly trips to “the Village,” only this time, my excitement for foraging through discarded treasures was replaced by shock. All the shelves were removed, and the remaining inventory was piled into the center of the store. I immediately asked one of the employees what was going on, and was sadly informed that the store was closing its doors due to the fact that the current lease had expired, and the landlord was demanding a huge increase in the rent upon renewal. Since Value Village could not afford the new lease, they had to close shop, which unfortunately also meant that all employees were out of a job as well.

When I moved to Hollywood this past summer, I was looking forward to slow paced, pedestrian friendly, little white-haired lady vibe that this part of Portland had to offer. Value Village and the Farmer’s Market that used their parking lot was all a part of that friendly neighborhood vibe. I continually hear stories of how Portland was a completely different place just 5 years ago…cheaper in rent, no Pearl, etc. I have heard the horror stories that followed in the wake of building the Whole Foods downtown. Now that Hollywood is getting its own Whole Foods too, in a matter of just a few short months I am starting to see this same horror for myself. It is already flabbergasting to see the effects that the recent “Rock N’ Roll Cafe” has caused since it’s opening in combination with the new Trader Joe’s location. Car traffic has increased, and where I once had free parking around my little apartment complex, I am now suddenly threatened to be towed. Oh yeah…and we have a Panera now too!? I never thought I would feel over-run this soon!!! I thought I was moving away from all this madness when I got out of Texas!?

Now with construction underway of the next Portland Whole Foods just a couple blocks away, the building owners in Hollywood are seeing their early retirements, while their tenants are beginning to get their moving supplies ready. It’s sad really. Where are these building owners going to retire to when they plop a Whole Foods down in the one area of town where a lot of the retired people live? Ok, that’s not the saddest part…what’s the most sad is that “Grocery Outlet” is moving into Value Village’s previous location.

That’s Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Grocery Outlet all within a block or so from each other!

And I thought Portland boasted itself as a model for city planning?

19 Comments so far

  1. Betsy (unregistered) on November 26th, 2007 @ 6:11 pm

    Oh, maaan. I took our stuff to Value Village instead of Goodwill (didn’t want to help pad the CEO’s bonus any more), and my daughter got her latest Halloween costume supplies from there just a month ago.

    I wonder what this will mean for the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, though – will they still be able to use the parking lot next year?

  2. McAngryPants (unregistered) on November 26th, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

    sniff…I do miss Hollywood. Moved from there to North (and I do mean NORTH) Portland last year. gustavs…trader joes…poor richards…laurelwood…Chin’s Chinese Kitchen (gone now).

    Tell Whole foods there is LOTS of room up here in NoPo

  3. morty (unregistered) on November 26th, 2007 @ 7:40 pm

    Damn, I still miss the Arctic Circle that used to be on 40th and Hancock.
    Chin’s used to be a regular stop as well.
    And then there was Boc’s and Yaw’s…

  4. Beulah Mae (unregistered) on November 26th, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

    Hollywood is my neighborhood, too. I was just thinking today what a weird mix of things we have and are getting around here. It seems like we’re a odd little outpost of suburban-like retail things right in the middle of town.

  5. butch (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 9:38 am

    I welcome the changes. I shop at Trader Joes and Whole Foods…both are excellent. And now they will have a competitor to fill the ‘low cost staples’ void that those two grocerie stores don’t provide.

    Value Village? Who needs it in a ‘trendy’ part of town. Move them out to SE 82nd or Gresham. You can drive/bike there to get your Holloween costumes and hand-me-downs.

  6. witchtrivets (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 9:55 am

    Oh no! That’s my value village — I was planning to head there later this week to look for sweaters. That totally sucks. I am blaming the rocknroll cafe for all of this. That place is horrifying — yet still packed every time I go by it.

  7. divebarwife (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 10:50 am

    That Rock N Roll cafe is totally frightening!

    But I guess the Grocery Outlet is appropriate if you’re looking at the senior demographic of Hollywood….they love discount canned goods.

  8. george (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 11:16 am

    Hollywood did have a cool sort of creepy vibe many years ago. But it also had a bit of a “lost glory” feel with lots of boarded up shops. Lots more parking lots.

    Sort of reminded me of a typical American rural downtown business district, maybe a county seat in a rural area.

    I have a personal affinity for places like that, but on the other hand, I don’t want to begrudge people prosperity, so its nice to see open businesses and lots more people around.

  9. McAngryPants (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 11:17 am

    What exactly is a “Grocery Outlet?” Cash and Carry? Winco?

  10. george (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 11:53 am

    Grocery Outlet is GREAT. We call it “I Can’t Believe Its Not Food” in my house.

    Its like a Ross Dress for Less for FOOD! Lots of weird discount stuff mixed with lots of overstock and failed product lines. There was this brilliant period where they had lots of Tobasco Brand cross marketing products for example. Or weird failed energy drinks. Roast Chicken potato chips were there once.

    Its the only time where you will grocery shop AND laugh out loud at products.

  11. Beulah Mae (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    Maybe they’ll have Louisiana brand Wing Sauce for $1 and my Bama Jelly like Big Lots does.

    If you look on Citysearch, it seems that the Rock and Roll Cafe isn’t getting awesome reviews. They also had to drop the Yaw’s name and menu items, so they’ll need to shape up to keep attracting a clientele. What we need in the neighborhood are more intimate and inviting places to eat — something in between commercial fast food and huge establishments. I don’t know why more small independent restaurants don’t make it in the area??

    I guess Hollywood has been historically very odd when it comes to dining — um hello C. Chicken Inn. :-o

  12. Random Citizen (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

    “I don’t know why more small independent restaurants don’t make it in the area??”

    In part, I think it’s because of the weird parking situation in the area. If you’re not taking the bus or the MAX, then you’re driving in Hollywood and there aren’t a lot of spaces open to the public.

    I work in this area definitely agree with the lack of dining options. I support Fleur de Lis bakery/cafe as much as possible.

    I’ve eaten at Rock ‘n Roll cafe twice and as Michael Kors would say, “I was underwhelmed.”

  13. tim (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 3:42 pm

    According to the Farmer’s Market folks, they’re in negotiation to lease the same spot next year, but they don’t have anything sorted out.

    I also moved to the greater Hollywood area (i.e., Rose City Park) a few years back and am kind of terrified by how Hollywood is developing. The Rock and Roll Cafe is frightening, and I don’t understand why Panera is here at all (nor why we’re simultaneously getting high-end options and extremely low-end options like Grocery Outlet and that really ugly convenience store that just opened up). Pretty much the only place we eat in the neighborhood is Hama Sushi.

    We’re just hoping Whole Foods increases demand among well-to-do, child-having types who will buy our house when we sell in a couple years…

  14. McAngryPants (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

    mmmm…hama sushi is gooooood. really nice people too. I hear there is a Mio in the area. they won’t get any of my business.

    Just as long as nothing happens to Pal’s Shanty. That’s all I’m asking for.

  15. Sherwood (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 5:51 pm

    It’s good to see so many people caring about my neighborhood. I moved here 3+ years ago because of the library, Trader Joe’s, Moon and Six, MAX, Grant and the fact that it had unlimited potential. With the exception of the Rock and Roll CafĂ© (not that I’ve eaten there) most of the changes have been good, although I am wearing a shirt from Value Village. Now all we need is a decent hole in the wall Mexican and I’m in damp heaven.

  16. vj (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 7:46 am

    Hey Mark –
    Thanks for using my photo. Creative Commons licenses require that you provide an attribution – something like “photo by VJ Beauchamp” or “photo by vj_pdx”. Or, do it like Betsy & Dieselboi do, make a parenthetical mention of me (VJ), linking to altportland.com. Thanks.

  17. Mark (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 9:01 am

    I made sure to keep the photo linked so when people clicked it, they would be directed to your flickr account…I thought that satisfied the CC license. BUT it is no problem, I will make sure to add the photo credit to the post…

  18. vj (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

    Thanks, Mark, I appreciate it!

  19. sc (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 9:50 pm

    i’m bummed about the value village! i tried to go there today and was shocked to see the grocery outlet coming soon sign…such a wierd location…the only thing i can figure is they’re trying to cater not only to the seniors in the area but those that live in the subsidized housing visible in vj’s photo in the horizon behind value village? however, tj’s is pretty affordable if you shop carefully…and it’s sooooo much healthier!

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