an original Portland coffeehouse
707 S.E. 12th ave.
Rimsky’s is one of Portland, Oregon’s most reserved and well-kept secrets. An historic 1902 Victorian house on S.E. 12th Avenue was renovated more than twenty years ago and opened as a secluded coffeehouse, becoming a part of Portland’s unique cultural landscape (see: The Cult of Portland*.) What makes this mysterious and relatively unknown establishment so charming and romantic are its many quirks and eccentricities: photographs hang down on strings from the ceiling; in one room, a circular table rotates so slowly that if you do not pay attention to it, your cup of coffee will end up on the other side; all of the tables are covered by a movable sheet of glass, so that visitors can leave something behind – a note, a sketch, poetry of love lost.
“I prefer if people just bring their friends — that way they bring people with a certain sense of humor.”
Goody Cable, owner of Rimsky's
Rimsky’s was created by Goody Cable (who, additionally, established The Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon, a bed and breakfast where each room represents a different author). Cable is an original Portland artist, a woman who wanted to start a small coffeehouse with the philosophy “under no management”, a place that would inspire deep, memorable conversation with friends and family. She succeeded here, as everywhere you look, there is something worth commenting on. The place is literally filled with conversational pieces. To mention them all here would spoil the subtle oddities that make the place so charming. During the weekend evenings, Rimsky’s is alive with a loyal crowd of trendy coffee buffs and features performances by acoustic, classical guitarists and pianists. The weekdays are quieter, more suitable for a relaxed, romantic, candlelit discussion over a Mexicana or Orange Cappuccino (both of which are things of beauty.) The premiere dessert attraction here is the Mocha Fudge Cake, voted Portland's Best Dessert not long ago.
Let me tell you right now that this place is hard to find. Your best bet is to Mapquest it by its address, because there are no distinct signs or anything else to even indicate it is a place of business rather than a quaint home. It's the perfect late night companion to an evening at the theatre. Check it out for yourself, but make sure you're in a good mood to enjoy its quirkiness and fun. Start complaining about the service, and you may find a map to Denny's on your table.
(the owner's quotes and some background info swiped from the Portland Tribune.)
* a footnote: what happened to that node? It was a very well-written writeup (with 3 C!s) that has mysteriously disappeared.