BY LEE PERLMAN
Laurelhurst strip bar seeks liquor
Diamonds, the strip bar formerly known as Mynt at 3390 N.E. Sandy Blvd., is seeking a liquor license.
Tracy Doss received a license for Mynt despite strong opposition from the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association, as well as the presence of the Teen Challenge drug rehab center and a daycare facility within a block, and records of problems Doss had had as manager of establishments in Columbus, Ohio, which he had not shared with OLCC. The agency did impose several special conditions; one of these was that Mynt couldn’t employ anyone, including dancers, younger than 21, and Doss lost his license when an OLCC inspector encountered a 20-year-old stripper there.
Doss operated Mynt as a juice bar – free of liquor but also free of restrictions – before handing the place off to Derek Smith. Smith renamed the place Diamonds and has been operating without a liquor license since mid-November.
At a January Laurelhurst meeting, residents expressed concerns given the history of the location. OLCC inspectors Dan McNeal and Karen Keith said that there was a heavy burden of proof on anyone seeking to deny issuance of a liquor license. Parking congestion is not grounds for denial, and street drinking and noise can be only if opponents can show it originated with this establishment.
“There’s drinking in the parking lot, and drunken and rowdy behavior by people on their way to their cars,” board member Don Gardner said. “Since this is the only liquor outlet open so late, it’s coming from there.” Other neighbors also complained about the noise.
Smith, who attended the meeting, said, “I want to be responsive to everyone. I know that there have been problems here in the past, but I’m confident we can solve them.” Later, asked for specifics, he said there would be on-site security and the parking lot would be regularly patrolled.
McNeal said that given the history and degree of opposition, this license would probably have a hearing before the OLCC board.
Last month the Laurelhurst board voted to oppose the license. Chair Eric Fruits laurelhurstpdx.org said that based on information he’d received no one associated with the club had ever held a liquor license, that backer Scott Allen Jorgenson had a history of driving violations of which at least one was related to liquor, and that backer William Ray Westover was facing a prison term in Washington for activities related to prostitution.
Smith said that he had 14 years of running liquor establishments in Florida. He conceded that Jorgenson had had his license suspended.
Diamonds’ current hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday, and 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday. When and if it receives a liquor license, Smith says, it will probably be open earlier and closing time will be 2 a.m.
Popina slates opening bash
Popina Swimwear will celebrate its move to its new expanded digs at 2030 N.E. 42nd Ave. with a grand opening party from 6 to 9:30 p.m. March 7. There will be free daycare for kids (the store will have a permanent children’s area with fish tanks) and a hot tub for adults to try out their swimsuits in. Other goings-on will include fashion shows, two live surf bands, hair makeovers by Dosha Salon, beverages and cocktails from Kona Brewing (which will have a permanent bar in the store), door prizes from Mount Hood Meadows, Alaska Airlines and others and, for the party, all merchandise 30 percent off. How can you afford not to go?
Atomic Pizza sets Hollywood opening
Owner Jenna Forsley says that the Hollywood outlet for her Atomic Pizza, at 4144 N.E. Sandy Blvd., will have a “soft” opening in mid-March, starting with evening hours only. But save April 6 in your calendar for the parlor’s grand opening, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (or so). The opening will be a benefit for Officer Paul Meyer, who was paralyzed in an accident at a training exercise. Atomic Pizza has been operating for years at 2150 North Killingsworth St., in the Overlook neighborhood.