It has been over a year since the Weil’s Building burned to the ground in one of the most spectacular and crippling fires in Hillsboro history. Historic Downtown Hillsboro will never be the same, and several buildings remain closed. But everywhere you look between 2nd and 3rd on East Main, the premier block, signs of life are happening. The Hillsboro Pharmacy building is getting a new coat of paint. Well-known Hillsboro lawyer Kit Jensen and his family law firm are close to moving back into their offices. The US Bank redevelopment is moving ahead and looks to be headed for an opening in July, bringing four new food vendors to downtown. Puppernickel, a popular doggie treat bakery, is moving from 3rd Street to the recently vacated Kove Yoga space. The former Clark’s restaurant is about to re-open as Hillsboro welcomes the Blue-Ox, the first axe-throwing pub in the City. So as our Summer event schedule starts to line up for a big year, Downtown looks pretty solid!
With all that activity in one block, one would think that nothing could top it. But the Rising would not be complete, not even near complete, without the solemn empty lot where the fire happened being a part of it. News comes to the Herald from 4th generation property owner Jay Weil that the plan for the future of the fire-ravaged property has been determined. For the immediate future, the property will become Weil Arcade Food Park. Timing is not right to invest Millions into a new building, and the family wants to have the lot an active part of returning vibrancy to the district.
Jay shared his thoughts about the plans for the property.
“The Park will be paved, well lit, with covered common areas, restrooms, etc. each food cart will have electric, gas, water/sewer hook ups, and seating areas.
Our plan is to have 10 of the very best food cart operators with a diversity of specialty foods from across the globe.
Nobody needs 20+ choices.. our goal is to provide 10 Great choices, clean, fast, reasonably priced, and fun.
We want Weil Arcade Food Park to be a source of pride for our City. Hopefully it will be a draw and provide a service which will be a boost to our surrounding business’s.”
The Weil Arcade Food Park is located one block from city of Hillsboro civic center and Washington county administrative buildings in historic downtown Hillsboro. With access off Main Street this makes Weil’s the best located food carts in Washington county!
Here is a downward view of the park, which has been designed by planner / designer Phil Robinson of PDR Designs.
The carts will be neatly placed in a row with a central plaza walkway down the center, connecting visitors and customers from Main Street to the North. There they will find parking that the Weils own, which will be a real plus in an area where parking is at a premium these days. Also this connection will provide pedestrian flow between Lincoln and Main which will help the businesses like D’Anu Wine Bar, the Collective Market, Decadent Creations, and others receive a direct connection to customers.
The property will also have a beautiful black iron fence and gate system to secure the food cart park at night and set off the property as a downtown secure destination. There are built-in bathrooms, a large covered eating area, and a back gate connecting the park to the businesses in the Weil Arcade. Two covered gazebos will provide eating space as well.
Here is a look at the design of the covered patio.
While some people feel there are too many carts and locations, this spot is perfect for this use. These quality carts will turn downtown into even more of a Foodies destination and is located at the very heart of downtown. People will no doubt gather here during Tuesday Night Markets, Saturday Markets, and the long list of events that take over the Downtown district each Summer and Fall. Music should be a frequent thing at the Park. Beyond that, the setting is flanked by brick walls on both sides, which creates a New Orleans grotto-type feel that should really add to the vibe.
We are excited to see this happen for the Weils and the Downtown area. The park should be open by June or July, and we look forward to seeing who all settles in to cement the area as the food location for Westside diners. Adding to our very strong base of restaurants, events spaces, theaters, and galleries, the Weil Arcade Food Park will undoubtedly be a perfect Phoenix to rise from the Fire.
Want to get a Cart into the Weil Arcade Food Park?
Applications for food carts will be accepted
Starting April 1st. Please submit your contact information and preliminary information via e-mail to: email@example.com.
I am not a fan of Food Carts. I don’t eat at them. I was really hoping a business of some sort would go in that would draw me to want to go downtown. I can’t imagine that is going to help the restaurants in the area who are already struggling. Just my opinion.
We shall see. There are a lot of theories about these things. In the end everyone has to do what they think is best. There were/are no plans for anything to go there. This will bring life back to the block. If the food is good and the atmosphere good, people will come. Hopefully the result will be new people coming to experience downtown+
The restaurants in the area are struggling because of the quality. I am sorry to say.
Seconded. You look at Top Burmese, La Mixteca and Syun Izakaya and they do well because they commit and know their audience. You look at some of the others that have floundered, and you wonder what they were thinking. Carts on Main brought a needed service and convinced neighboring restaurants to step it up (never thought I’d see a day when the old Pastime served bone-in ribeye). The Carts at Weil stand to give the area around Decadent and Collective what they’ve needed this whole time: Tuesday Night Market atmosphere year round. If Old Town Beaverton can generate foot traffic out of nothing, that corner of Main can do it, too.
Sounds like a wonderful addition to downtown Hillsboro. Friends and family can gather and enjoy all that our city provides.
Lots of people work downtown. They can relax and enjoy a meal near the office.
I see that too Cathy- it can become quite a gathering place with the right choices and outdoor space. Time will tell- should be nice!
If done well, this will be a nice community gathering spot and add to the diversity of choices downtown. A vibrant cart pod should also help other restaurants since the first key to thier success is getting people downtown in the first place.
If you think about it, the clustering of food establishments is a winning model for success across the country. All around the Rose Quarter are restaurants that thrive in this environment.
I’m pleased that Jay is installing restrooms for customer comfort.
When we had a restaurant there in the 1990s ,we found that allowing our restrooms to be used by Sat market vendors and guests kept us busy all day.
And hats off to Phil Robinson for his innovative designs. He’s the best!!
Thank you, Diana. I think you are right. Jay has parking and that is going to be a plus. I think in the end this particular pod will have a huge impact on downtown. It is in the center, he has provided designs through Phil that show covered seating in 3 locations. People will eat and stay – wander the streets and pop in and out of the shops. So I see the positive side. The big pod on 3rd and Baseline lacks anything around it to draw people, as do many other pods. So the comments being made about these sort of places failing are based on many of those type od pods.
Thanks again, and thanks for reading!’
Boy is that pod a different story. You don’t want to discourage bold thinking, but foot traffic isn’t something you want crossing Baseline. Think about how the bowling alley and the Sports Look struggled to get people down there. Think of how many people know that Rune and Board or Chop Shop or the library’s bookstore exist down there… and it’s just a block off Main. Add a busy highway to that, and you’re asking a lot of pedestrians. If Baseline and Oak ever get road dieted, that may be another story, but that’s such a weird place to put a high-rent cart pod.
So what is holding up this WEIL new cart concept? Is it the CITY wanting to fill their 30 carts slots before they give you a permit to start with your development plans? How long will it take you to open…several months I suspect & by that time summer & fall is over * slow season winter begins.
The City has no food carts. We do not have any carts nor properties with carts. My understanding is that Carts On Main is trying to be open in June- that is the 32 Carts on TV Highway. The Weil’s location is moving ahead. Probably August. Permits are taking a very long time- I think it will all work out. But that is 46 food carts, 4-8 new restaurants downtown, and a lot more elsewhere, all going in at the same time. We shall see – I love the Weil’s location myself and think it has a lot of potential!