Venice will always be our home town (hello Venice Set), but we’re expanding our horizons! We recently opened our second brick-and-mortar destination in Portland, and we’re indulging in all the city has to offer. “Portland has experienced tremendous growth the past decade, thanks to a thriving creative community and entrepreneurial spirit,” says Ariel Kaye, our Founder and CEO. “Parachute’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship align with Portland’s sensibilities, and we’re thrilled to set roots in a city where design is truly celebrated." We asked Ariel to put together her list of must-dos when in town. Here's her list of faves so far...
Bamboo Sushi: This was the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world, offering the best fish, meats and produce. I’m a big fan, and there’s one on the same block as Parachute Portland!
Tusk: First of all, the restaurant is breathtaking – it was designed by Jessica Helgerson and Kayti Huffman of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, the same team who masterminded our new store. The food is also phenomenal. My favorite is their chickpea fries.
Toro Bravo: The menu changes seasonally, meaning I get to try a new dish every visit. While the food is traditionally Spanish, Chef John Gorham adds his own inventive and delicious twist. P.S. The drinks are amazing, too.
Barista: Conveniently located across the street from our store, this cafe serves up exceptional coffees from the world’s finest roasters. It’s spacious (a great place to take meetings), and the same awesome contractor who built out the Parachute store also did Barista.
Shift Drinks: With its chill vibe, all-day happy hour, and A+ cocktail menu, this bar is ideal for afterwork hangs. You can get an Olympic Provisions Cubano for $6, and they have an amazing fennel salad. I always recommended it when I’m meeting up with a group of friends because it’s a solid spot without the fuss of more popular bars.
The Sapphire Hotel: I’m partial to The Sapphire Hotel. It’s an intimate, dimly lit setting with an extensive cocktail menu (the “Going Up?” is my favorite drink). They also have amazing small bites (lots of GF options), so it’s great for a happy hour, date or get-together with friends. The building used to be a hotel/brothel that catered to sailors back in the day, and the restaurant/bar is where sailors used to mingle with ladies of the night. But we’ll leave those unsavory details to the past!
Breweries: It wouldn’t be a guide to Portland without mentioning the incredible microbrew scene. A few of my favorites include: Deschutes, Fat Head, Ex Novo, The Commons Brewery, The Beer Mongers and Ecliptic.
WM Goods: My new obsession. This stylish boutique has everything from beautiful clothes and shoes to lifestyle goods from fellow Venice-based brands (like Moon Juice and Canyon Coffee).
Alder and Co.: This perfectly curated shop is brimming with beautiful clothes, accessories, textiles, paper goods and even flowers. Alder and Co.’s florist, Hilary Horvath, designed the floral arrangements for our Portand store opening party, and the guests were swooning.
Frances May: I wish I could shop here every day (and without having to look at price tags). This high-end clothing boutique carries designer duds for both men and women. The labels they stock are directional and hard to find – and everything is beautifully merchandised.
Best Places to Stay
Ace Hotel: This place oozes cool and there are a lot of great eateries in the immediate vicinity. Plus, there’s a Stumptown Coffee inside the hotel.
The Jupiter: This hotel offers guests the option to book a room on “the chill side” or the “bar side” of the hotel. With Doug Fir – one of the best bars and music venues in all of Portland – on-site, it’s hard to skip out on the lively nightlife.
The Nines: A favorite pick for when I’m going the more luxurious route. Their dedication to sustainability also appeals to me, and I appreciate that The Nines – and Portland in general – are committed to environmental protections.
Best Things to Do
Multnomah Falls: One of my favorite hikes in the area, the views and waterfalls here are downright magical. I usually do a loop that’s a few miles so I get in a good workout but have enough energy to keep exploring the city, too.
Eagle Creek: Located along the Columbia River Gorge, Eagle Creek is the ideal place to decompress on a hot summer day.
Forest Park: I love to ride my bike through this lush green forest in the center of the city. I get to escape the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life without leaving Portland. Win win.
Best Hidden Gem
Parachute: Our 550-square foot retail space is located at 820 NW 23rd Avenue in a historic Victorian home. We decorated the store with like-minded vendors and local artisans. Each piece was carefully considered, creating something unique to Portland but at the same time familiar to the Parachute aesthetic. We host community events – like outdoor movies in the back garden – and have been warmly received by the neighborhood. We’re feeling right at home already!
Check out our other City Guides for Where to Eat, Drink and Shop in Venice Beach.