BY SCOTT CUNNINGHAM // Returns live music and events to site of former Taylor's Viewpoint
Portland's newest live music venue and event space, the Rose Room Bar and Grill, opened for business on March 20th, 2016 with a benefit concert and silent auction to raise funds for the Portland Multiple Sclerosis Society, who then helped provide support for Portland blues musician Dave Kahl and his wife, Lynn.
Located near the Portland Airport at the intersection of 82nd and Killingsworth, the 13,000 square-foot site is the former location of the iconic Taylor's Viewpoint, which was at one time Portland's premiere country and western live music venue. Among others, Buck Owens, George Jones, and Charlie Pride all performed at Taylor's.
Taylor's was opened in 1959 by Pete and Myrtle Taylor, but closed in 1969 when the couple retired. Subsequent owners operated an adult cabaret at the site during the ensuing years before abandoning the building.
New owners Amy Ravagni, John Sather and Terry Kimmons purchased the empty building last fall, taking possession in late November. Their goal is to transform the site into the east side's go-to live music destination, featuring local and national artists.
Having sat empty for several months, the building had fallen into a state of disrepair and had been overtaken by squatters, who further contributed to the rather poor interior conditions.
Renovations began shortly after possession and the new owners removed a whopping 400 cubic yards (ten loads of the largest dumpster available) of trash, ruined furnishings, and other interior elements over the next three months.
Once finished with the interior cleaning , the owners turned their attention toward remodeling. One of the first steps was to remove three separate stages that had been used for exotic dancers. Removing the stages paid big dividends, as the new owners discovered dollar bills that had fallen under the stages.
Another big task was refurnishing the flooring and installing a cushioned dance floor, replacing somewhat dated, shall we say, tiles. Moda Center sound engineer Mick Boyt contributed his expertise to design and install the sound system.
Standing weekly events planned for the room include the Ron Steen Jam on Mondays (8pm-11pm), KMHD disc jockey Tom D'Antoni spinning a live version of his Friday night soul and funk based show "I Like it Like That" on Tuesdays (7pm-11pm), and King Louie's Soul-Jazz Jam on Wednesdays (8pm-11pm).
Ravagni has a long history of charitable work, particularly St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and envisions herself partnering with local and national charities to host monthly fundraising events.
Future plans for the building include opening an event space upstairs, exterior beautification, and creating a rooftop area for guests to mingle in the outdoors.
Upcoming events for the Rose Room Bar and Grill include Five Guys Named Moe (Friday 5/6), the Norman Sylvester Band (Saturday 5/7), a CD release party for Lisa Mann's new album (Friday 5/13), and the Andy Stokes Band (Saturday 5/14). Tracy Turner-Pain of Soul Sisters Productions is spearheading marketing efforts and booking entertainment.
MORE: Rose Room Bar and Grill is located at 8102 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR, 97218. Details for all events can be found on the venue's website.