17 posts categorized "Cafes"

Kid-Friendly Cafes: Where to go?

November 21, 2010

It's been a while since I've had a toddler, but now I have one again.  I've been putting together playdates for me & the little guy, but I have come up a little empty with suggestions.  When my other littles were toddlers, there was SohBet, Sydney's, Sip 'n' Kranz.

To be sure, one old standby is Urban Grind NE (we were just there yesterday).  In the past couple of years, they have expanded their kid amenities to include two whole playrooms stock full of toys and room to roam.  It really is great.

What I've found is that the newest generation of bestest in kiddie joints is Posies in North Portland.  They have pastries (even gluten free!), biscuits (on certain days), lots of kids activities like musicians & puppet shows, and a kids' playroom in the back.  I only wish the place was bigger.

There have to be more similar establishments.  But,  where, though?  Where else can you go, find a good space for a toddler to room to explore bit, and play with an in-house stash of toys?

12.16.2009 - urbanMamas coffee playdate & Sydney's closing

December 02, 2009

Is it true that all good things must come to an end?  We recall one particularly robust urbanMamas coffee playdate at Sydney's that must have brought together 30 or 40 mamas, papas, and little ones to meet, have coffee, and play.  Sydney's has been a home, gathering place, play space, and work area to many of us for over three years now, but the time has come for them to shut their doors due to the loss of their lease.  Their last day open will be December 18, 2009.

UM coffee playdate sydneys 
Let's gather one last time to show some love at Sydney's, shall we?  It is bound to be busy on their last day Friday, so let's do a mid-week get together, which I can finagle right now while I'm on maternity leave.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
uM coffee playdate
Sydney's Cafe
NW 15th and NW Thurman
9-11:30 AM

Ingredients for a Family-Friendly Restaurants

June 18, 2008

We've talked family-friendly restaurants before.  Many times.  But we've never created the dream list, the list of everything a restaurant should do to score a 10, to keep us coming back (if they want us!), to win Metro Parent's annual reader's awards for who's the family friendliest of them all. 

I was at a coffee shop recently that had just opened, and since they clearly had no kids and I had two in tow, they asked me: Any ideas to make us more family-friendly?   So, I said, off the tippy top of my head (not sure there's more than that left!):

  • Stool under the bathroom sink for hand washing.
  • Changing table ... in the men's room!!
  • High chairs & booster seats.
  • (Healthy) kids menu.
  • Bring kid food fast or serve a quick snack to keep 'em busy (Old Wives' Tales delivers the apple sauce like immediately.  They know.)
  • A few toys (thinking Laughing Planet's ever-popular dinosaurs...).
  • Inoffensive art (much as I l-o-v-e Laughing Planet, Robert Crumb's artwork sure stirs the conversation at our table).

What am I missing?  What 'extras' have you seen that take the cake (free diapers works for me!)?  Help us finish this list - let's make it a resource for the (thankfully!) growing number of Pdx chow spots that actually like our kids! 

Seeking INFANT-Friendly Establishments

July 12, 2007

Here in Portland, there are no shortage of things "kid-friendly".  Amy, however, is having the hardest time finding establishments that are more geared toward the younger set, "infant-friendly", if you will:

I am the mother of a 13 month old, Titus, and we have been on several outings- but I have had a very hard time finding "infant-friendly" establishments versus "kid-friendly" establishments.  My son is a very active 13 month old, and has been walking for some time now, and we are having a very hard time finding places and activities that are infant or toddler friendly.  We have been to PB & Ellies, but I live near the Portland Airport so we do not make it to that side of town very often.  He really enjoys the zoo, but with the weather so hot currently, we don't last long outdoors.  It could be activities with or without other infants, although that helps in maintaining his interest.  He is in daycare, so he gets great interaction with all the children/toddlers 4 days a week and is very social.  He doesn't last long in the stroller if we are not on the move, so I am looking for play spaces, restaurants, and businesses in general that cater to the very difficult 1 year old crowd.  Thank you for all of your suggestions.

Peanut Butter & Ellie's: New & Improved

March 11, 2007

When was the last time you were at Peanut Butter & Ellie's?  Portland's veteran of kid-friendly establishments, PB&E has gone through a renaissance.  Way back when, when we first moved to Portland in 2003, PB&E was in the neighborhood.  It was a great little spot for the kids to grab a snack and a great way to meet new families. Fast-forward to 2006.  PB&E closed it's doors at its NE Fremont location.  Now, in 2007, PB&E is back in full effect.  They're back and they're better.  Their new menu boasts grown-up food like steak or taquitos.  Their newest big person offerings are burgers and baked sweet potato fries.  YUM!  Even better, they've got beer and wine!  AND, they've got table service.  PB&E's still focuses on fun food for the little folk, and they make the environment playful and happy. So, uMamas, have you been to the new PB&E's in SW Portland?  What do you think?  Is it yummy?  Is it fun for the whole family?

The Next Friday Knights

February 15, 2007

Back by popular demand, Friday Knights is scheduled for Friday, February 23rd.  We went last time, and our girls had a super-duper time.  They came home with fun stuff, like journals and pens, and they spent the evening making huge life-size drawings, playing card games, and playing the night away.  The best part was that we adults could steal away for a couple of hours of grown-up time and grown-up drinks.

Mark your calendars and RSVP now!  Sydney's is modifying it's format, pricing, and timing, so here are details:

Sydneys2_3Friday Knights at Sydney's
Friday, February 23, 2007
6:30 to 8:30 PM (feel free to drop off at 6:15 to help kids get situated)
Kids ages 5 and up (Kids as young as 3 are welcome when accompanied by an older sibling)
$15 per child, $10 for first sibling, and $5 for each sibling thereafter

Advance registration required: sydneyscommunity@gmail.com or 503 241 4313.

Mommy 'n' Me Knitting

January 29, 2007

Thanks for the feedback on Mommy 'n Me Knitting.  Sydney's Cafe is proud to present its first of anKnit ongoing group for mamas and their little ones to gather an knit.  It's a great time for those of all ages and skill levels:

  • Have your child learn to knit
  • Finish that knitting project you have been working on
  • Meet up with a friend to chat and knit
  • Cozy up to comfy chairs and a latte while learning this craft
  • Collaborate with other knitters in the community
  • And simply have a wonderful Saturday morning!

Everyone is welcome!  Every Saturday beginning February 3rd at 10 AM.

1800 NW 16th Avenue
503 241 4313

updated March 1, 2007:  Due to schedule conflicts, Mommy 'n' Me knitting will now be every SUNDAY at 10 AM.

Friday Knights is TONIGHT!

January 19, 2007

Join the Sydney's family for a night of games, pizza, music and art projects.  It's a perfect time for mamas and papas of older kids to steel away for a few moments, a bite to eat or a drink on the town.

Friday Knights
Friday, January 19, 2007
7 to 9 PM
Kids 6 and up, $15 per child
Sydney's Cafe
1800 NW 16th Avenue, at Thurman
503 241 4313

I Heart Sip and Kranz

January 02, 2007

09.jpegFor many years I lived in Boston trying to become a rock star.  To make ends meet, I had a job delivering art to Manhattan galleries once a week. We would fire up the truck at 4 am, deliver to all the hip galleries in town and double park a lot, hit a “Ray’s Pizza” for lunch, and make it back to bean town around 10 pm for a couple of beers at Foley’s.

The job made for a long day but I enjoyed the opportunity to soak in NYC once a week. The galleries we served and much of the art we delivered were models of modern design.  Modernism - its simplification of form- has always captivated me but part of my admiration is no doubt based on my inability to ever be that unadorned in style.

Like it or not, my sense of style bounces between hippie and grunge (thus I always have an excuse to be unkept). I am much too cluttered in thought and deed to ever inhabit any structure found in the pages of dwell (even though I subscribed to the magazine for many years). Regardless I remain captivated by crisp, clean lines, and the fact that white comes in more than one shade. Which explains in part why my new crush in the world of kid-friendly cafes is Sip and Kranz.

What will you find there? Wonderful modern atmosphere, tasty, affordable and simple cafe fare (salads, sandwiches, etc.), good coffee, beer and wine, free wi fi, and a glass-enclosed play area for the kids - so you can watch your kids with the volume off.  Other than my desire to tear the BIG SCREEN TV out of play area, my only complaint is that I can’t walk there.

All said, I could easily spend an entire day at Sip and Kranz imbibing coffee and counting the different shades of white. Hopefully they will never enforce a dress code.

Sip and Kranz is located at 901 NW 10th Avenue in Portland near Jamison Square.

Holiday CardMaking at Sydney's

November 28, 2006

Thank you to Tim, Amanda, Brianna and the rest of the Sydney's staff for hosting some great coffee playdates. Sydney's is coming up with new and great ideas to keep us all happy and occuppied (and us mamas caffeinated). Sydney's is hosting a drop-in Holiday Cardmaking event:

Enjoy classical and holiday music while you set down to put together holiday cards. We will reserve the large community table and set up supplies (stamps, drawing utensils, paper, stickers, and more) for moms and kids to use. Parents are encouraged to bring in their own suppies (but just make sure all the supplies don't get mixed all together!). Don't forget to get the kids some mini hot chocolates to enjoy on the couch as a break from all the craft-making.

Sounds like a great time for mamas with older children, for mamas with infants, and even for mamas whose kids are in school! See you there: Sydney's, 1800 NW 16th Ave, December 4 at 10 AM.

P.S. If you have ideas on fun events for mamas and kidlets at Sydney's, please email: sydneyscommunity@yahoo.com.

Monday Morning Coffee Playdate

November 08, 2006

Before there was Sip & Kranz, there was Sydney's.  Any mamas up for a coffee play date this upcoming Monday morning at 10 am?  This won't be your average play date, bring the camera (digital or otherwise) you most use and the talented Lisa Warning will go over some basics on lighting and composition with the group. She'll also give spend some one-on-one time with each interested mama to answer questions about their camera; and give quick 5 min individual lesson with mama and child while the rest of us chat and enjoy coffee.   Sound fun?  RSVP in the comments.  Here are the details:

When: Monday, November 13th
Where: Sydney's, 1800 NW 16th Avenue, Portland, OR
When: 10 am

And if you're lucky, Olivia might show up in her red boots!

Single Moms Unite Together

October 18, 2006

If you missed that last single moms get-together, mark your calendar for November 4th.  Debby writes:

You are invited to a meeting of a group of single moms by choice or circumstance. We are now called "Single Moms Unite Together" (or as we affectionately call ourselves, "SMUT!"). This group is for single mothers or future single mothers who chose to do to it all of their own, whether by choice to inseminate, adopt, or not partner with the baby's father after finding out they are pregnant. Becoming a mom alone is hard work, and requires lots of support and empathy! We have been there too! Let's get together and drink coffee! We are meeting on Saturday, November 4, 2006, 2 pm at Sip and Kranz, a family friendly cafe with a fabulous play area for the kids. If you are interested but cannot attend, please do not hesitate to contact me so I can add you to the email list for future events. We look forward to meeting, playing, and networking!

Coffee Shops: Nursing Friendly?

October 05, 2006

Here's an interesting spin on a much-loved topic, coffee shops.  Joanna wants to know about your favorite nursing-friendly java joint:

I'd love to know (and forgive me if this has already been posted--I did a search and couldn't find anything) about coffee shops that are good for nursing my baby--my criteria being really comfy chairs, good coffee, and a cozy atmosphere.  I'd love to know about any and all coffee shops in both portland and the surrounding areas. I like exploring, taking long walks in different portland neighborhoods and going to parks and there has been many times since my two month old son was born that I've just gone home to nurse when I would have preferred a closer place to hang out and feed my son.  In my neck of the woods, the Willamette Coffee Shop in West Linn is great, as is the Borders at Bridgeport Village.

Sip & Kranz official opening 10.05.06

October 04, 2006

Sip & Kranz has its official grand opening tomorrow, Thursday, October 5th!

11 am - Wee Sing sing-a-long and book signing for the little ones
6pm - appetizers, wine, beer, music and fun

Sip & Kranz is at 901 NW 10th Avenue next to Jamison Square. They're open from 7am to 9pm most nights. Ironically, I scheduled a meeting there tomorrow at 10, so I may see some of you there!

Kid-Friendly Spaces

April 10, 2006

From one of our readers, here are some of her neighbor's favorite kid-friendly cafes.  I believe the BiPartisan Cafe is due for the Coffee Playdate circuit.  It was recommended by Andy awhile back.  Have you been to these cafes?  What do you think?

Glo Loca Cafe and Bistro - 7901 NE Glisan St 503 257 0063 Great food; quality ingredients; sandwiches, soups, homemade baked good, fair trade coffee, sofas, WiFi, computer, kids area well-maintained

BiPartisan Cafe - 7901 SE Stark St 503 253 1051 Nice open space, great coffee/treats, toys for the kids

Anna Bannanas Cafe - 8716 N Lombard Kids area in the shape of castle walls, organic menu, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches/ mac-n-cheese for the kids, rocking horse, wood toys, comfy chair for nursing moms

Mississippi Pizza - 3552 N Mississippi Ave 503 288 3231 Great pizza, Lorna Miller, once a month, leads a "Little Kids' Jamboree" with homemade instruments for an hour; $5 suggested donation.


February 12, 2006

Hot bloggity!  Reason #51 why Portland rocks - the coffee shops, specifically Sydney's.  Sydney's is brand spanking new, kid-friendly and urbanCool.  It also has Wi-Fi.  Put it on you calendar for this Friday, February 17.  We'll be there at around 10 am.  It's on 15th and NW Thurman across from Childpeace Montessori School.  Let us know if you can join us.

P.S. Parking is available in the lot next to the cafe.  It was plentiful for a Sunday, not sure how it is during the weekdays.

P.S.S Don't forget that Karen and Tori, and other urbanMamas are gathering on V-Day at Urban Grind!

Photos courtesy 5-yr old Philly.



Looking for a kid-friendly cafe?

November 11, 2005

Looking for a place to be, hang, eat, meet with or without kids??  SohBet.  It's our new favoritest spot.  SohBet, how much do I love thee?  Let me count the ways:

  • free WiFi
  • huge toy area with tons of diversion for the wee ones (diversions include piles of paper, markers, crayons, tinker-toys, duplo, blocks, trucks, and other stuff I'm forgetting)
  • stumptown coffee
  • a couple o' comfy armchairs
  • pastries from baker 'n' spice
  • panini (on a recent trip, I had a turkey pesto with roasted red peppers and provolone.  YUM YUM YUM.)
  • other nibbles and bits, including olives, almonds, cheese platters, soups, sandwiches.
    retail items like fun 'n funky ceramics and dishware, gold encrusted alma chocolates, other specialty items like preserves, honey, biscuits.
  • changing table in the restroom.
  • music on thursday and friday nights.
  • piles of reading materials, the NYT and mags galore.
  • it's 1-1/2 blocks from my house.

What a place.  It's home away from home for everyone in the family.  Proprietors David and Julia are calm, down-to-earth, and family-friendly, as are the patrons.  I often see a diverse group of the kidless and the non-kidless hanging out in the expansive space.  I think it's simultaneously kid- and parent-friendly, even more so than peanut butter & ellie's.  And, because it's more cozy, has a wider food selection, and is more convenient, it's trumping our all-time favorite, urban grind in the NE.

SohBet / 503-735-3446 / 2710 N. Killingsworth, Portland, OR 97217