Kurt and Heather Huffman, the same partners behind The Pearl - San Francisco’s premier event space and wedding venue - took over the historic site at 618 SE Alder Street in July of 2015 and set out to create a destination worthy of Portland and its residents – a venue where the community can gather and celebrate everything exceptional about this amazing city.
Dubbed the Orient Lodge #17, the building was commissioned by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) where it was used as a meeting hall for Odd Fellows through the first half of the 1900s. The P.P.A.A. purchased the space in the 1950s, making use of the upstairs ballroom for private events. Various tenants occupied the ground floor of the space over the years while the adjoining P.P.A.A. bar boasted a reputation for its rowdiness until the 90s when the Portland Police were forced to curb the drunken revelry.
When the Huffmans and their partner Danny Lu began the renovation process they focused on providing world-class aesthetics, acoustics, audiovisual, lighting, furniture, and amenities that would provide truly memorable experiences for all their guests.
Through thoughtful collaborations with local businesses, contractors and artisans, responsibly sourced materials from throughout the Greater Portland area were utilized, when possible, during the top-to-bottom renovation. The result is a venue that is equally well suited to host weddings and corporate events or high-energy concerts and DJ sets. The opportunities are endless.
“The variety of events The Evergreen can host is outstanding,” said Tim Taylor, Spork Bytes co-founder. “While many venues almost exclusively host weddings, The Evergreen has the room to host much more than that. We've seen everything from large corporate conferences to group pop-up yoga classes and lots in between.”
With The Evergreen’s physical space appealing to many of our five “traditional” senses, the culinary adventure attendees will embark on ensures all of the senses are piqued and a memorable experience is enjoyed by all.
Shannon Hill, Director of Sales at The Evergreen shares, “In Portland, I don't think it's a huge secret that our sense of taste is what we really embrace and celebrate more than all others. So, having great food and a great bar are exactly what people are hoping for whether they are traveling to an event or live here and attending an event. As the old saying goes, ‘the fastest way to someone's heart is their stomach.’ I think that stands the test of time.”
One of Kurt Huffman’s other ventures, ChefStable, partners with chefs who have “shown a commitment to their craft and whose food reflects their passion and talent.” ChefStable takes care of the operational details so chefs are able to focus their energy on crafting the highest quality food and premium service to their customers.
Many culinary mainstays throughout Portland are partners with ChefStable, three of whom are also Spork Bytes restaurant partners, offering catering menus and dishing up one-of-a-kind meals for a variety of outings and events.
“Spork Bytes is currently partnered with a trio of ChefStable restaurants for catering,” said Taylor. “Rick Gencarelli has put together a hard-working group of people at Grassa and Lardo who are very talented. Grassa provides fresh, handcrafted pasta and Italian sides while Lardo serves unique flavors of mini sandwiches. Chef Jasper Shen and his team at XLB serve up soup dumplings, noodles, and sides or as they say, ‘straight up Chinese food.’ Serving these brands inside of a ChefStable venue is extra special for us.”
Support of the Portland community extends to the ground floor of The Evergreen building where Loyal Legion - a venue celebrating the Oregon Craft Brew tradition - welcomes visitors to enjoy any of the 99 Oregon beers on tap while admiring a tap system that rivals a NASA program.
“Something that tends to surprise our clients is the fact that we have 12 beer taps that we can use for their event,” said Yvonne Gallardo, The Evergreen Director of Food and Beverage. “Our bar is a consumption based bar, so they can have all 12 taps up and running and there is no additional cost. Through our partnership with Loyal Legion, a curated menu of brews is offered that will satisfy even the most refined beer palettes.”
To create an event and experience that is truly memorable it takes a team of professionals who are experts in their field and who aim to provide a level of unparalleled service. Fortunately for the Portland community, “The staff at The Evergreen are kind, attentive and very good at what they do,” Taylor continued. “Yvonne Gallardo and Shannon Hill make the ideal team for anyone planning an event. They both have extensive experience in the hospitality industry and really take care of their clients.”
The feeling is mutual as Gallardo continues, “Bringing Spork Bytes onto our list has really afforded our clients with a way to bring in quality food from popular and iconic local restaurants at a great price. The variety of choices they offer makes them unique. The team at Spork Bytes has made amazing strides to be able to handle any type of event from a casual style corporate lunch to weddings that require a more involved setup and flipping the space from a ceremony to a reception with ease. It has been great having them and watching their business grow.”
As the name implies, The Evergreen is able to host beautiful events year round. For those interested in hosting an event at The Evergreen, you can take advantage of an exclusive 10 percent off the venue fee when using Spork Bytes as your catering partner and mentioning this post. Contact them today to book your event!
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