An ace mechanic, a master tailor, an on-call dog washer… who to buzz to get things done
BEST BIKE MECHANIC
Service manager, Bike Gallery
To figure out when to call Brett Flemming, you must employ the Rule of Threes. As in, three different repair shops rejected your bike because it’s busted beyond repair. “That’s my favorite thing to hear,” says Flemming, who manages the Bike Gallery’s service program out of the local chain’s original Hollywood location and who also takes on its most challenging jobs. To hang on to his title as Portland’s Mr. Goodwrench of cycling, however, Flemming has to rely upon some substantial muscle. His three-ton, 1960s-era “Mighty” Holbrook lathe is a good start. It’s just one of three massive lathes Flemming uses in his personal machine shop at home, where he performs delicate procedures like rethreading fork tubes and, most impressively, hand-building his own bike-repair tools. (In fact, his toolmaking skills are so impressive that companies like Rocky Mountain and Mavic buy his gizmos.) So if you’re beset with grief because the front derailleur on your 1977 Peugeot PX-1—which has nothing but odd-sized or obsolete parts—just broke, dry your eyes. Flemming’s got you covered. Also at the ready is his prized $700 self-lubricating steel-and-aluminum bike pump with a shock-resistant glycerin-filled gauge. Translation: Fixing that flat shouldn’t be a problem, either.
Dry Cleaning Station
In the quest for clean duds, there’s no need to contaminate yourself or the environment—or to empty your wallet, for that matter. This eco-friendly local dry-cleaning chain ditched toxic PERC (a chemical that’s still used by most cleaners today; it’s been linked to nervous system, kidney, and liver problems) in favor of GreenEarth, a safer cleaning formula made from liquid silicone that doesn’t take a toll on human health. And what’s the price for such peace of mind? Not much, it turns out. Blouses are just $6.95 to clean, and you can even rack up discounts by getting your friends on the shop’s bandwagon. Pickup and delivery? They’re free. The business also backs up its do-goodery with some tidy credentials: It’s Portland’s only dry cleaner to have won the award of excellence from the Fabricare Institute (a respected garment-care trade association) for its high standards of cleaning, environmental stewardship, and customer service.
Like a pack of culinary ninjas, Benjamin Dyer, Jason Owens, and David Kreifals—the foodie brain-trust behind this 15-person operation—have taken a solemn vow never to use wimpy Sterno flames and silver warming pans, nor to ever serve the rubber-chicken dinners that often characterize meals cooked for hordes of people. Instead, the Simpatica boys show up to your event with an arsenal of convection ovens, griddles, and grills, and then proceed to whip up one of the best meals you’ve ever eaten, no matter the size of the party. Having studied under some of the best chefs in town, including Vitaly Paley of Paley’s Place and Paul Decarli of Tuscany Grill, Dyer, Owens, and Kreifals plumb their collective culinary knowledge and dish up everything from cedar-plank salmon to a whole pig, roasted until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender. And with a supply of freshly butchered meats from their sister operation, Viande Meats & Sausage, at their disposal, they can create a menu that’s limited only by your imagination.