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Vintage Menu Power Hour: The Pagoda and Rucker's Coffee Shop

In honor of Classics Week, we're bringing you a whole hour of posts dedicated to vintage Portland menus curated by collector and graphic designer Reed Darmon.

At the tail end of 2008, the Hollywood district's eye-catching Chinese restaurant The Pagoda, closed its doors after nearly 70 years. It's now a Key Bank. Just a tick off NE Sandy Boulevard, it was built during an era when Sandy was the major Eastern route out of town. The road was lined with similarly eye-catching architecture (sometimes called "kitschitecture") designed to lure motorists off the highway. Buildings shaped like giant milk bottles, jugs, clocks, and heads were the norm, making The Pagoda's pagoda seem almost tame in comparison. Darmon says he remembers that walking into the restaurant you had to cross a little bridge over a koi pond.

Rucker's Coffee Cup was another 1950s Downtown lunch stop, with a cute little coffee cup on its neon sign (apparently there was a lot of neon back then. Can we bring that back?). According to the blog Vintage Portland, "Rucker's Coffee Cup was a well-known landmark on the southwest corner of SW Broadway at Stark Street in the 1950s ... located directly across Broadway from the Imperial Hotel (now Hotel Lucia) and across Stark from the Oregon Hotel and the Benson Hotel. The Oregon Hotel came down in 1959 to make way for an extension of the Benson."

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