We chose the name “The Brooklyn House Restaurant” to give folks as much information as possible about where we are: we’re in the Brooklyn neighborhood, in a house, which happens to operate as a restaurant. It turns out that a surprising number of Portlanders have been confused by the “Brooklyn” part, asking about connections to Brooklyn, NY. So here’s a little history about our cute little gasthaus and the cute little neighborhood where is sits….
The area was originally called “Brookland” because of the rivers and creeks throughout the area. By the 1890’s, the Oregon Central Railroad laid tracks, people (mostly German) moved in and the corner of Powell and Milwaukie became the town center. People eventually shortened the name to “Brooklyn”. Starting in the 1920’s, a series of construction projects served to break up the thriving neighborhood in a variety of ways and cultivate a culture of disinvestment, poverty and crime. Even though it became the first neighborhood association in Portland in the 60’s, it wasn’t until the 80’s that the area started to really turn around. We now enjoy a culturally rich neighborhood that is a desirable place to visit, work and live.
Our house was built in 1922 as a private residence at the end of the booming growth. It was later sold as a boys’ boarding house and stayed that way until 1978 when it became a German restaurant called The Edelweiss House. It closed in the late eighties, then struggled through a couple failed attempts at other ventures before becoming The Berlin Inn Restaurant, Bakery & Wine Stube. For 21 years, memories were made that are generational, memories that are important to a lot of people. This house has seen babies a few hours old; toddlers learning to walk; teenagers graduate high school; lovers get engaged; holidays, birthdays, weddings and wakes; folks being wished fair-well and folks being welcomed home.
Now that the Berlin Inn has closed, we who worked those final years know what this place means to people. We understand that by opening The Brooklyn House, we have taken responsibility for something greater than ourselves. We are here to witness and care for the next generation of memories to be made. There will be more babies, more lovers, more fair-wells and welcome-homes…and we will be here for all of it. When you need a home to come to and a family waiting for you, we’ll be here, happily situated in the Historical Brooklyn Neighborhood.
If you’re looking for a fun day, bike down the East Bank Esplanade to Brooklyn. Stop by The Southeast Grind for a coffee, The Portland Juice Press for a fresh juice, Know Thy Food Grocery for local snacks, picnic at Brooklyn Park and continue down to Oaks Bottom for nature hiking. Come back north for a cider at Bushwhacker Cider, over to our place for dinner and end the night with a show at The Aladdin Theater or Replicant. We have bus lines 9,17,19 & 70, and the Max Orange Line construction will finish soon with a stop just north of 12th & Powell.
We are truly Portland: music, nature, public transportion and a Slow Food Revolution! Come down to 97202 for a touch of history, a taste of Oregon and a breath of fresh air.