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Red & Black Cafe gentrified out; must move in November

So, no, Starbucks didn't put them out of business, but the gentrification of Seven Corners is. And that gentrification was spearheaded by Starbucks, New Seasons and other yupster/hipster establishments. For some history, see:  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/action/stopstarbucks/

This letter is from the collective at the Red and Black, telling folks what's going on.
Dear Patrons, Friends, Comrades,

As you may or may not know, our building* has been bought by NorthRim
Development Company for $1.8 million. Our lease is up November 15, and
at this time NorthRim will be renovating the building and raising our
rent, possibly doubling it. They have already tried to charge us money
for "operating expenses", a fancy phrase for "our already large
paychecks", without signing a new lease with the building. Who knows
what will happen come November... Because we are sick of landlords who
are more invested in making exorbitant profit than building community,
and because we want to be a stable politically active community space
that can hold our ground amidst Portland's rampant gentrification, we
are looking to buy a building come November!

We need help! We are looking for lenders, consultants, contractors, etc.
who are sympathetic to our collective structure and goals. If you have
any leads on available buildings for sale, have legal and/or accounting
advice, equipment let us know! We are looking for a commercial/mixed use
space approximately 2000sq ft. ideally with a kitchen. We want to stay
in Southeast Portland.

Most of all we need cash. We don't know how much at this point—our
business plan is currently a work in progress. We're currently looking
to raise around $20,000, whew, to account for our portion of bank loans.
To account for our moving costs we will be raising prices on some of our
menu items this spring and will be hosting benefits throughout the
spring and summer. We'll keep you all posted...If you'd like to set up a
benefit for us or know someone who would that rules! And donations are
always welcome :)

Thank you all for your loyal, awesome patronage through our seven years
of growth! With your help we're going to continue our legacy as a
radical, worker owned, democratically controlled, environmentally
sustainable business.

Sincerely and with much love, The Red and Black Collective

New Owners of Building: NorthRim Development Group 819 SE Morrison St.,
Suite 110 Portland, OR 97214

They are responsible for the $450,000 a piece condos on SE 21st and
Caruthers for an example of what may be built in our wake.

*the building consists of the Red and Black Cafe, City Repair, Black
Dragon Kung Fu Studios, Seven Corners Art Studio and Radius Art Studio

Oh how SAD 04.May.2007 01:23


So sad, but cool that you're planning ahead to survive.

watershed? 04.May.2007 06:34


Hey, maybe you could take 2000 sf of space at the watershed for awhile...?

Also, it goes without saying, we all need to absolutely boycott all the yuppy businesses around 7 corners. (NOT mirador, that is a local piece of our community and a good neighbor.)

Thank you for staying in SE! 04.May.2007 08:02


Sometimes it seems like everyone gentrified out of SE goes to N or NE, which is frustrating for those of us staying down here. Also, going to N or NE just contributes to the gentrification there. I believe it's possible to stay in SE and BLEND and not be part of gentrification here.

always knew this would happen 04.May.2007 11:56

viva la red and black!!

red and black has been a great venue and neighborhood cultural institution. it is sad to see another example of a community spot being driven out by the forces of capitalism, but it was bound to happen (again).

i will never forget sitting at one of the sidewalk tables on the saturday after the august 22, 2002 police riot, crowding around the small flip-out screen of a video camera, watching video of the violence. that and other video resulted in the federal lawsuit against the city and the later founding of the northwest constitutional rights center.

that was my first visit to the red and black.

$1.8 Million? 04.May.2007 17:05

For what?

Don't get me wrong, when I lived in Portland I enjoy many a conversation and many an evening event at the Red & Black. However, I just can't imagine that the building which houses the cafe can be worth that much money. The building is old, probably has another ten years before major renovation - which would just not be worth the cost.

Therefore, my bet is that NorthRim is planning on tearing down the building and putting up more half million dollar condos for California wacko yupsters - yupsters who have not yet figured out that the real estate bubble has burst and in five to ten years they are going to be holding an adjustable rate, half million dollar mortgage on a property worth...nothing.

It would not at all surprise me if NorthRim contains a trove of the same kind of rascals that wrote all the sub prime mortgages during the 1990's and then pawned the worthless paper off on mainstream banks. (Banks who were either stupid enough or shady enough to buy this worthless paper, and they try to make up for their losses with hedge funds.)

take it over! 07.May.2007 16:50

youo have the power

red and black, come on, defend your right to exist!

there are tons of anarchists and sympathetic people who would stand up for youo if you fight the building.

start holding weekly protests at the developers offices, and refuse to pay increased rent. if they try to evict you, defend yourselves. capitalisms facade of social peace will be ripped off to reveal the brutal inhuman reality of thiss system when they try to evict you. but there is SO many people who support the red and black that i know you can win!

put pressure on the developers to have to answer for their callous actions, and make them have to rely on implementing and seeing the violence that implicitly backs them up at all times (the force of the state in enforcing property laws).

you have a right to that building. it is yours because you use it and have been there for years!

fuck the developers. we need to stand up for ourselves, and if anarchists won't do it, how do we expect anyone else to?