The building at the corner of 35th and Division has held many roles. Constructed in 1925 by Isaac Geller, the building once housed a vaudeville theater, transitioning into an adult film theater in the 1960s and ’70s. The Oregon Theatre, as it was known, was Portland’s longest-standing porn theater, closing in 2020.
Soon, however, a cocktail bar will open in the same building — next door to the original theater space. The End, a cheeky nod to its neighbor, comes from an eclectic A-Team of food and beverage talent: Hey Love co-owners Emily Mistell and Nicholas Musso, ex-pro skateboarder and Cat’s Paw owner Mickey Reyes, Sweet Hereafter bartender Dylan Long, and chef-about-town Sam Smith. Together, they want to create a casual watering hole for the neighborhood with a sense of quirkiness, serving buttered popcorn Old Fashioneds alongside esquites Cup Noodles. “I’m always a little whimsical,” Mistell says.
Those familiar with Hey Love — the plant-filled, lively cocktail bar within the Jupiter Next hotel — will not be surprised by Mistell’s approach to beverage at The End. The menu will include things like s’mores espresso martinis, coconut lemon drops, and a melon ball Negroni with yogurt soju, lactic acid, and a whiff of Midori. One drink is a specific nod to Musso’s love of hot wings: A Buffalo michelada with blue cheese and Frank’s Red Hot, served in a Coors Banquet bottle. “We’ll have lots of nostalgia-based cocktails,” Mistell says. “People want to feel something when they see something on the menu.”
To match the silly energy at the bar, Smith will bring his remixed Cup Noodle pop-up to the kitchen, designing a variety of tricked-out instant noodles for the menu. For instance, one Cup Noodle will be a play on esquites, the Mexican corn snack, while another will be more of a Korean budae jjigae, with kimchi, American cheese, and Spam.
Beyond his role at Hey Love, Musso also works as a carpenter and builder, behind bar and restaurant spaces like Victoria, Dig a Pony, and Cafe Olli. He’s bringing his eye and expertise to the design of The End as well, incorporating walnut slats, jade green leather booths, antique pendant lamps, and an arched bronze backbar. The team commissioned Hey Love alumnus Brad Hoseley, who is also a painter, to create three original pieces for the space, as well. “The funny thing is, it’s the opposite of Hey Love, which is maximalist in every way,” Mistell says. “Here we’re taking the space and accentuating pre-existing pieces.”
When asked about the bar’s theme or elevator pitch, Mistell bristles. She’s not interested in opening a bar with a very clear schtick; instead, she wants to build a neighborhood watering hole with her friends, one that can evolve naturally.
“We’re not hyper-conceptualized, and that’s what we’re liking,” she says. “There are a lot of hyper-conceptualized spaces. We want to be a place that could maybe have been there for a while and no one knew it.”
The End will open at 3532 SE Division Street in late May.