Carl Singmaster, Chief Beer Officer at Belmont Station, was almost giddy to show me the Southeast Portland bottle shop’s new sun porch—and for good reason. Three and a half years ago, he conceived the idea to have some sort of outdoor addition to the shop. Since then, he's endured the loss of his business partner and the ensuing personal and financial trials, and has tirelessly navigated the ins and outs of ever-increasing city guidelines.
So, yes, Singmaster was excited to show off his hard work.
As we walked pass the bar and through a doorway, the smell of wood and fresh paint filled my nose to reveal a brightly, naturally lit covered porch. Metal beer signs from various breweries near and far hung on the deep blue walls, accented by dark wood paneling recycled from the apartment complex Singmaster purchased and tore down to build the porch.
Belmont Station's new seating, built by the southeast Portland furniture company Yardsticks, includes three sturdy, wooden four-person benches and two longer benches that can sit eight people comfortably.
Taking my own seat, I realized why the sun porch was such a great idea. Outside, it was about 45 degrees and drizzling. But inside? Near 70° and illuminated by natural light. Although Singmaster originally wanted the porch to be a beer garden, the covered structure works out perfectly (and if the resident hop-heads want to enjoy their beer under the open sky, there's new outdoor seating section, too).
Most importantly, the porch offers much-needed space to neighborhood that doesn’t have much in the way of outdoor seating.
Clark Patton, a Southeast resident who was sitting across from me at another bench, says he's been a Belmont Station fan for nearly a decade. “I love it,” Patton told me between bites of his sandwich he got from the on-site Italian Market food cart (which offers South Philly-style meatball subs and soft pretzels). “They needed more space. Out here, it’s warm, quiet, and comfortable with plenty of light.”
The biggest windows face west, so the later hours of the day will illuminate the space. On the warmer and dryer days, those same windows roll up and let in fresh air. For the far-more-typical cooler days, heaters hang from the ceiling. They are clunky and noisy now, but Singmaster lets me know they shouldn’t be that loud after he makes adjustments.
“It’s just one of the kinks that happens right after you open,” he assures me.
The sun porch is open now, but the grand opening is the week of April 22, complete with special beers on tap to commemorate the event.
4500 SE Stark Street