A restaurant and club near Portland State’s campus are being forced to close their doors due to fire hazards presented by low ceilings and lack of exit doors. Portland Fire and Rescue examined the Green Onion Restaurant’s building, located at 636 S.W. Jackson St., and deemed it a fire hazard due to the low ceilings with exposed beams, a well-known and loved feature.
A restaurant and club near Portland State’s campus are being forced to close their doors due to fire hazards presented by low ceilings and lack of exit doors.
Portland Fire and Rescue examined the Green Onion Restaurant’s building, located at 636 S.W. Jackson St., and deemed it a fire hazard due to the low ceilings with exposed beams, a well-known and loved feature. The basement club, The Cave, was also hosting too many people for the number of exit doors.
While the door issue could be remedied, the ceilings cannot feasibly be raised without serious demolition.
The Green Onion, a Persian restaurant, was established at the Southwest Jackson location nine years ago. In May 2008, Alan Jones, jazz drummer and composer, began booking gigs in the basement that was converted into a jazz club called The Cave.
The Cave has been a place of relaxation and great music for all ages, with jazz stars such as Hal Galper and Nancy King playing there.
“The ceilings were to low, they said,” said Kevin Licman, manager at the Green Onion, referring to the fire department’s qualm with the establishment.
Sousan Brown, Green Onion owner, reported that they did not have enough exit doors for the number of people who were attending shows at The Cave.
After only 10 months of operation, The Cave has become part of the Portland State community.
“We housed sponsored jam sessions for music majors, where more-experienced, veteran jazz musicians can mentor newer, less-experienced music aficionados,” Licman said.
The Green Onion and The Cave have been branching out and catering for Portland State faculty parties, holding poetry readings and allowing blues guitarists to come play on certain nights.
The shutdown of the location near Portland State would be disappointing to frequent customers, but the owner and operator are looking on the brighter side, and are in the process of deciding where to move the restaurant and club.
“Parking has always been an issue to customers, and at the new location we plan to have more parking space available,” Licman said. “The new location will provide us with more space to grow and we will keep our key concepts the same since they seem to be working well for us.”
Jones was the one who put the restaurant and jazz club together. Reviewers have said that the club has an ambiance about it that inspires creativity and allows for a joyful experience that is representative of jazz improvisation here in Portland.
The Green Onion and Cave are still around for the time being, and owner and operators are meeting today to work out a final plan for the future of both establishments.