Last week, The Oregonian reported several Portland retailers had designated themselves “safe spaces” for all people, a movement that has ballooned during Donald Trump’s successful run for president, during which he advocated barring Muslims from entering the country and building a wall along the United States-Mexico border. Since Trump won the election, reports of hate crimes and harassment have dramatically risen, including at restaurants.
Students at numerous colleges were some of the first to champion safe spaces during the election, though the movement began many years ago. And now, a handful of Portland restaurants have also posted signs showing their support.
Boke Bowl, Verdigris, and Sizzle Pie have each posted signage, either online or in the fronts of their restaurants. The sign posted to Sizzle Pie’s Instagram reads, "We party with all races, all religions, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all genders.”
“We want to spread a positive message in a time that’s pretty negative,” says Sizzle Pie co-owner Mikey McKennedy. “It’s a reminder that being good, open-minded people isn’t a political act, it’s just being a decent human.”
Verdigris and Boke Bowl both posted signs in the windows of their restaurants. In an email, Verdigris general manager Sarah Egeland writes, "We are posting a sign at Verdigris as a safe place for all. It never actually occurred to us as a business that we would have to do this. We have always been a safe place for all, and will always be going forward."