A couple of weeks ago, my former co-worker Elaine called me up and asked me if I’d like to have coffee with her at Blend Coffee, a spot in my neighborhood I hadn’t been to since moving up to NE Portland. Blend is a new client of hers (she is one of the masterminds behind KEEL Creative), and had done a little revamping after a new owner came in with a new vision for the space.
I had been to Blend a couple years before, and the previous owners had kept the space pretty simple. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked it (and actually wrote a Yelp review saying so) – the big windows lent lots of light, there were lots of tables, and it was just really peaceful there.
There has certainly been a redesign since I was last there. The space has a much more designed vibe, with concrete floors, soothing slate grey walls, and some really beautiful wood tables. The art is really neat and modern (not sure if it’ll be rotating or not), and it looks as though there is a fireplace coming soon to the front room. The flowers and prints of the chairs and pillows brought a really chic vibe, and kept the space from feeling cold.
Elaine and I were there for about an hour, talking in hushed voices, because it was definitely a hub for worker bees – lots of people on their laptops, plugging away. When I mentioned to Elaine that it seemed like a great place to work (I love places with big windows and lots of natural light – it counteracts the artificial light from my computer), she noted that the new owner had outlets put in all over the place, making it more friendly for low-running batteries. Huge bonus.
She also informed me that at some point (I’m hoping in the near future), the owner is thinking of using the back room, which is a little longer, for an event space. I cannot even tell you how great of an idea this is! The vibe of this place would certainly lend itself to a dinner club or office party. I can even see it with a long table down the middle for a small rehearsal dinner. The possibilities are endless, and I really hope the new owner opens it up to the public like that. Who knows, maybe a food blogger or two could use it for some events…
Let’s not forget the coffee! They served me a great latte (Stumptown, of course), with some very impressive foam. I am a lover of a delicious, thick foam – it’s the sign of someone who knows what they’re doing behind the espresso machine. It also looked like they had a nice little pastry and bagel selection.
Overall, the sense I get from the new Blend Coffee is hip, chic, and contemporary – a cool space to grab a great cup of coffee and snack while you sit back and enjoy the beautiful new space.