No love lost

Given all of Portland's many life-threatening problems, a neighborhood spat over noise may seem kind of petty. But the battle over the decibel level and the hours at the Cafe Nell in northwest Portland is something else again.

In one corner we have Vanessa Preston, restaurateur, who took Covid as a cue to move her operation outside into her parking lot, erect an enormous tent over it, and apparently expand it. She seems to have the City Council and the supporting bureaucracy in her pocket.

In the opposite corner we have the neighbors, particularly the ones right next door who get to listen to patron conversations, piped-in music, and an infernal outdoor heater just outside their windows until 10 o'clock at night. They are joined by Allan Classen, the force behind the little NW Examiner newspaper, and boy, is he steamed.

The drama continues to play out in this month's edition of the Examiner, here.

I tend to side with the neighbors in cases like this. They were there first, and they didn't sign up for a big outdoor cafe operation on a tarmac right out their window. But whatever side you like, you might find the back-and-forth food fight entertaining.


  1. But where are all the posers supposed to show off their bling while eating overpriced, over garnished slop, while sipping their oh-so cute cocktails?

  2. But the neighbors bought residential property right next to a commercial zone. Classic “coming to the nuisance.”

    1. It's not a commercial zone. And they bought next to a parking lot for an indoor restaurant, not a busy, loud outdoor restaurant.


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