4100 SE Division St.
Weekdays 9 am – 10 pm
Saturday 8 am – 10 pm
Sunday 8 am – 9 pm
The name Sckavone has been associated with Division St. and the Richmond neighborhood ever since 1908 when six-month-old Nick Sckavone immigrated here with his family from Italy. From an early age, he had gumption and leadership qualities. When he was fifteen, he was selling The Oregonian on downtown street corners. His employers decided to save money by not buying back the extra papers from the newsboys at the end of the day. Nick demonstrated his organizational skills and formed a union with the other newsboys and went on strike. The publisher quickly resumed the buyback policy.
At seventeen, Sckavone established the Richmond Athletic Club to form the neighborhood baseball team. He had a lifetime devotion to amateur sports for both boys and girls, the Westmoreland’s Sckavone Field is named after him.
In 1931 he opened the Ever Ready Drug Store. At the time it was located directly west of Sckavone’s Restaurant, 4100 SE Division St. The lunch counter became the neighborhood gathering place. Conversations went from World War II to Vietnam, local politics to Watergate, neighborhood gossip and sports. He built the current location in 1950 where he continued to connect deeply to the community.
Nick’s grandson, Jon Finely, remembers hanging out with him as a kid. He would get to enjoy a treat from the soda fountain and listen to talk about baseball. Nick retired in 1975 and the family rented the building out to several different businesses and a restaurant. In the meantime Jon Finley graduated from college, worked in his father’s restaurant (The Beaver Cafe) and then went on to creating packaging for computer software sales – a business he eventually sold.
“It was the timing of everything that made me decide to open Sckavone’s Restaurant,” Joe said. Fusion closed in 2005 and he was in between jobs. Opening the restaurant was a career change for him and he wanted to build on a theme that began with his grandfather of providing the community a place to eat and meet one another.
Since Finley wasn’t a cook himself he worked with other cooks to figure out what the neighborhood didn’t have. “There was Thai food, Mexican food, vegetarian, barbecue but what we determined was lacking was simple, classic American faire.”
They serve ribs, fried chicken, mac and cheese, fish and chips, meat loaf; food we are familiar with. “We keep it simple.” This appeals to local diners who like traditional food served up in a place that has a history of hospitality and community gathering.
There are a lot of new young families that come in and are becoming the new regulars, Jon says.“I’ll see them talking with the elderly couple sitting at the table next to them.” On any given night he knows many of the people who have come for dinner.
Sckavone’s opens at 9 am for breakfast and continues to serve food throughout the day. The breakfast menu includes several renditions of the ever popular Eggs Benedict, Huevos Rancheros, a Mexican bowl and other tantalizing items. The coffee comes from K & F Coffee Roasters on Clinton St. Lunch offers delicious sounding choices too and all menus can be viewed online at sckavones.com.