Nick’s Famous Coney Island
By Jack Rubinger
Nick Brown took over Nick’s Famous Coney Island in July. The good news? He’s keeping the iconic Portland landmark hot dog restaurant pretty much the same – with the exception of a few upgrades in the food and bourbon departments and general cleanup. For regulars who’ve been digging the classic eatery, that’s good news.
Originally from Yakima, Washington, Brown is a twenty year veteran of the restaurant scene, with stints at Kell’s on NW 21st and Bellagio in Las Vegas, Brown plans to make hot dogs even better through a deal with Olympic Provisions.
“When Nick’s became available, I jumped at the chance,” said Brown. “It’s a Portland institution.”
While restaurants on Hawthorne Blvd. and other parts of town come and go, Nick’s Coney Island has been around since the 1930s. The walls are covered with photos, posters, even boxing gloves.
When the restaurant was put up for sale, there was concern that new owners would mess with it, but Brown quickly put that notion to rest.
Brown intends to keep the staff intact.
“We’ve got a great staff,” he said. “Maybe we’ll add another bartender. It’s all about happy bartenders!”
Business this summer has been good, with a nice lunch crowd.
Some background about Nick’s Coney Island: In 1935, Domenick “Nick” Carlacio had one goal: “Make a damn good Coney Island.” In 1960 Frank Nudo took over the business. Known for its loyal customers, sports fans, local celebs, elected officials, athletes, and movie stars, the famous spot served mouthwatering food and cold beer.
In 2008, Casey and Carrie Hogrefe kept the legend alive. The historic eatery has won a number of impressive awards, including Top 10 Places to Eat (AOL Travel), Cheap Eats Ravies (Willamette Week), Who’s Got the Best Burger (95.5), and Top 10 Historical Neon Signs in Portland (The Oregonian).
During football season, breakfast is served from 9 am to noon. Other special days include Tuesday taco and movie night, Wednesday SIN specials with OLCC card. Happy hour is every day from 3 pm to 6 pm.
Most regulars are familiar with Nick’s hot dog line-up, including the Bacon Cheddar Dog (chopped bacon, sour cream, melted cheddar), the Fiesta Dog (jalapeno, onion, salsa, shredded cheese), the Chicago Dog (fresh cucumber, tomato, pickle, pepperoncini) and the Cowboy Dog (sweet barbecue sauce, onion, bacon, cheddar). Naturally, there’s the Veggie Coney, a one of a kind tofurkey kielbasa with a vegan version including Coney Sauce.
Newcomers are invited to stop by 3746 SE Hawthorne Blvd and say hi to the new Nick, sip some fine bourbon and gulp down a few dogs.
Khalsa Chiropractic Pain Relief Clinic
By Nancy Tannler
Many of us living in this community are thankful for the Khalsa Chiropractic Pain Relief Clinic at 50th & SE Hawthorne. Hari Dass Singh Khalsa has been practicing in SE Portland for thirty-five years, mostly at this location.
While studying at the University of Oregon, he took a Kundalini Yoga class. The teacher put on a ten-week course introducing alternative healing practices like chiropractors, naturopaths and psychologists and Hari Dass became a devotee of chiropractic medicine and Kundalini yoga.
His current practice includes his son Hari Amrit, a chiropractic physician, four massage therapists and Dr. Maureen Becker, ND LAc. Together they are in a good position to address many of the community’s healthcare needs. When asked about the most common complaints that patients come to them for it’s no surprise that the neck, mid back and lower back pain as well as extremity over use are the main issues.
“I constantly study the cutting-edge research studies to keep apprised of the latest applicable information on the treatment of conditions that we commonly treat at our clinic,” Hari Dass said.
Over the years the growing acceptance and use of alternative, non-invasive solutions to pain has brought people real relief. Treatment at the Khalsa Clinic are specific for the condition that the patient presents. They combine a combination of chiropractic manipulation to get joints moving, massage and muscle work to reduce muscle tension and trigger points, physiotherapy to reduce inflammation and home exercise to increase strength, stability and freedom of motion.
Hari Dass has been a member of the Sikh community since 1978 and a Kundalini Yoga instructor and yoga teacher trainer as well. He said, “Being a yoga instructor gives me the skills and understanding to give each patient specific exercises to help them heal and manage their condition.”
Sikhism is a faith with service at the center, and he has applied this attitude of service while developing the culture in the clinic for the last thirty-seven years. He believes everyone born has a unique path and what he has learned by studying kundalini is “to be quiet enough to hear what it is and strong enough to follow through.”
Hari Dass has seen Hawthorne area evolve and change over the years. “It has been fun and rewarding to watch the development and all the small businesses and interesting shops.”
He’s glad that so far we have avoided having chain stores and he’s grateful that he has a parking lot for his patients.
When he isn’t healing the wounded, Hari Dass enjoys playing music, kayaking and paddle boarding. He even manages to go windsurfing a couple of times a year – a true testament to his understanding of self-care.
By Peter Zimmerman
Ancestry Brewing has opened a new location at 4334 SE Hawthorne Blvd., adding much needed family flavor to the neighborhood. The Hawthorne location is the brewery’s third after locations in Tualatin and Sellwood, and it’s focused on bringing a laid back atmosphere where one can relax and enjoy a beer after work, or bring the kids in for dinner; a far cry from other bars in the area that cater more to the late night crowd.
The new location features thirteen flagship beers and a wealth of rotating beers that change with the season. Changing in style from Irish to Belgian to American, Ancestry has a beer for everyone.
The award-winning Irish Red is malty and flavorful, the Piney IPA is perfect for hop lovers, with citrus and pine notes and a malty finish, and, for those looking for something lighter, the Cream Ale is crisp and refreshing and perfect for enjoying on their sun-soaked back patio.
It’s not just the beer that will have you coming back for more. The menu is full of top-notch pub food, and the staff is friendly and welcoming. Try the Ancestry Burger, a classic pub style burger served next to a mountain of fries. You catch the latest game on one of multiple TV’s. The Hawthorne location also has something most brewery’s don’t: a coffeeshop that’s open from 6 am to 2 pm daily, Ancestry’s coffeeshop serves Campos Coffee and offers brewery style cold brew infusions.
Ancestry was started in 2016. It is family-owned by father and son Jerry and Jeremy Turner and community oriented. That ethos can be seen in everything they do, from the friendly attentive staff, to opening at 8 am and changing the menu to add breakfast just so people from the neighborhood would have a place to watch the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup. Add some fantastic beer and great pub food and you’ve got a great new neighborhood spot.
By Peter Zimmerman
Culture, a new restaurant-lounge hybrid on Hawthorne Blvd., brings together Mediterranean culture and cuisine with a hip local atmosphere that is uniquely Portland. Located at 2422 SE Hawthorne Blvd., the business has something for everyone, from a family-friendly dinner atmosphere, to live music and dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
The menu, curated by chef Tim Fuhrman, is an all-encompassing trip through Middle Eastern cuisine, starting with Mezzas and continuing with entrees like Moroccan Chicken, but the main culinary draw of Culture is the tableside Shawarma.
Shawarma, popular the world over, is thinly sliced pieces of marinated meat stacked on a skewer, then cooked rotisserie style. The meat is then sliced off the spinning skewer. Culture is the first and only place in Portland where you can enjoy Shawarma tableside.
Customers can enjoy lamb, beef or chicken options sliced at the table. It’s best to order the Shawarma ahead of time, as it takes awhile, but those who want to relax and enjoy the atmosphere for a while can order any given time.
Combine the cuisine with top-notch craft cocktails, and a meal at Culture is not one to miss. The space is adorned with rich colors and a style that will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to a Moroccan villa, and features a beautiful patio.
Shawarma and Moroccan chicken are not the only things that will keep the seats full at Culture. Once the sun goes down, Culture transforms into a club/lounge featuring local artists, cultural music nights like Latin night and an Afro experience. Owner and Portland Trailblazers DJ David Jackson bolster the local vibe, and local talent like Issa will frequently grace Culture’s stage.