quality pie


Portland has changed a lot during my lifetime. My guess is that everyone can say that about their hometown.

Being back I turn corners and drive down streets with vague visual recollections of what these places used to look like. Many times I find myself excited about the changes that have come, a few times I miss something that is gone or changed, but most often I’m touched with a bit of melancholy because I can’t quite remember how all the pieces of a particular place fit together.

That is definitely true for Quality Pie, a 50s style diner where I spent many late nights during high school drinking coffee with cream and eating french fries with ranch dressing. It sounds disgusting now, but the diner was a little slice of heaven. I can’t describe why QP was so special, except that as a teenager when we’re all trying to find our place in the world, this was a place where people from every corner of the city came together.

QP was the lone hold out from the 50s on NW 23rd, a street being chi-chi-fied even a decade ago when I was still living here. So when property values went up places like QP came down. I honestly can’t remember exactly which cross street QP straddled, but I’ll never forget what the pale yellow sign looked like – lightly lit and hovering above the corner diner.

All of these memories came flooding back a week ago when I was walking through the Wieden & Kennedy building, turned the corner and saw the old QP sign serving as a wall in their offices. I stammered to try to explain why I was so excited to my friends who just looked at me with bewilderment. But it was great to see a bit of old Portland in midst of the new.

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3 thoughts on “quality pie”

  1. Just found your blog (from Carrie & Danielle’s) and this post made me laugh. See … I get it. You’re not the only one who misses the Quality Pie! My own stomping grounds were over in Laurelhurst and Hollywood, and I miss Yaw’s and ‘Enry Beazley’s. (Great photos, by the way!)

  2. @Stephanie,I worked for ‘Enry Beazley’s from 1977-1980! When Mr. Beazley finally retired, he closed the restaurant and they had this great party for him. He was a great man.We used to go to Yaw’s after work…..sigh…good times.

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