Valerie Hunter really wanted a local food scene in her hometown of Happy Valley, and last summer, she told us all about her vision for Happy Valley Station—then named Happy Valley Melting Pot. On Wednesday, she held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and as of today, the pod is officially open. It's the first food cart pod in Happy Valley, and it brings 4,000 square feet of street food, with 26 food and drink purveyors, and a 450-seat pavilion. Perhaps most importantly, it brings a local alternative to Happy Valley's big-box-restaurant culture. But it almost didn't happen.
Hunter says she started the process three years ago, and getting it off the ground took forever. City and state officials had to figure out how to rezone the property for development, and a vocal group of homeowners whose properties stand nearby also fought against food-cart deliciousness.
Now that's all in the past, Hunter says, and more than 200 people showed up just to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The food options include Mexican (Chloe's SoCal Mexican Grill, Mixteca), Thai (E-San Thai), Philippine (Chicken Adobo), Vietnamese (Kim's Kitchen), and Lebanese cuisine (Yaba Yabaa), as well as specialty carts that offer eats like gelato (Strano Gelato) and sushi (Wasabi Sushi PDX).
Heated during the winter and opened up via roll-up garage doors in summer, the Happy Valley Station also has a 400-square-foot kids play area, plenty of boardgames for people of all ages, and a bar that pours beer from 45 taps. At present, Hunter says all of her carts have been leased out to food purveyors except one, and she's saving that one for her mother, who apparently makes tasty breakfasts and potpies. Hunter just needs to convince her mom to share them with the public.
Happy Valley Station: 13551 145th Ave., Happy Valley, 541.419.7253; Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.