When Revolution Hall kicked off its first show by welcoming Neko Case to its stage in April, you could grab a beer in the venue's cafe, but once the curtain came down, the cafe turned out the lights until the next performers rolled into town.
Starting today, that cafe, Marthas, will be open from early till late, seven days a week. That's especially good news for the 500 or so people who work for the 20-plus businesses inside of the renovated Washington High School building, which houses Marthas and Revolution Hall, in the Buckman neighborhood.
For breakfast, Marthas offers pastries from Crema, bagels from Spielman's, and something called a New York Minute Platter, which includes a black Russian bagel, a hard-boiled egg, a double shot of espresso, a glass of either orange or grapefruit juice, and a sparkling water back. Importantly, the cafe subscribes to the New York Times.
Starting at 4 p.m., Marthas cooks up a trio of sandwiches (nine-inchers that come in barbecue tofu, caprese, and pepperoni) alongside a roster of pizzas, such as the Unruly Child, a pesto pie with chipotle-roasted Roma tomatoes, muenster, and cream cheese.
The cafe seats another 20 outdoors, and manager Autumn Wollum says that somewhere down the line, Marthas could be opening up the rooftop for customers ready to brave the wind (it's the tallest building in the area, so it gets windy up there). For now, the rooftop is only open for weddings, receptions, and other private events.
The name, Marthas, comes in part from the fact that the building used to be the Washington—as in, George—High School. But as you can see from the many portraits of Marthas plastered all over the place, it gets inspiration from Marthas, as in plural, and not Martha's.
Revolution Hall, which hosts national acts like Joe Jackson, Wayne Shorter, Margaret Cho, and Macy Gray, was remodeled and reopened by the fellas who brought Portland Mississippi Studios, Jim Brunberg and Kevin Cradock.
Lastly, note that the entrance is hard to find. Per Wollum:
If you're standing on Stark and looking at the building, head up the main steps, pass the main entrance, and you'll see the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) door and outdoor patio. Marthas is in suite 110 on the ground floor, and the entrance to Marthas is at the ADA door. There are actually A-frame signs around the building with arrows directing people towards the proper door as well. Marthas' also the most southwest corner of the building, near the parking lot.
Marthas: 1300 SE Stark St., Ste. 110,
(503) 421.9165 (503) 288.3895; Hours: 7 a.m. till late, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. till late on Saturdays and Sundays