NW 19th & Lovejoy, 1952

NW 19th Avenue was a two way street in 1952 when this picture was taken. It’s one way (toward us) now, so you can be excused if you don’t recognize the building on the far corner from this perspective. The 1915 Royal Arms condo building, an apartment building at the time, would be over your left shoulder as you pass it going south.

(City of Portland Archives)

28 thoughts on “NW 19th & Lovejoy, 1952

  1. Northwest Portland has always been my favorite part of the city. It’s the most urban of Portland’s neighborhoods & was the first place I moved to when I left home in Irvington in my late teens.

  2. I can’t wait to go take the now shot this is quit fun. I do a lot or research on condo conversion and how it de-populated these structures.

  3. I believe the part of the Physicias & Surgeons Hospital can be seen on the right. Now Legacy Health corporate office

  4. Didn’t we have a BBQ biz across the street and Bonnie’s disgusting burgers a block East on Lovejoy?

    How about Louie Bluies?

  5. Quality Pies on NW 23rd and Marshall. Open 24 hours. Your food served (at 3:00 am-shortly after the bars closed) by a surly, gravelly voiced waitress in an old fashioned diner uniform; cigarette clinging tenaciously to her lower lip.

    The clientele was 80s hipsters, drag queens, and insomniacs. Nearly everyone stopping by to sober up enough to get home safely.

    Great greasy spoon with the emergency entrance to Good Sam’s right across the street in case your burger got the better of you.

    I loved and miss that place.

  6. It sounds like the Sambo’s on NW 23rd & Burnside during the 70’s. There was – is? – a Denney’s on East Burnside c. 26th that served the same function. Went to both of them after hours back then.

  7. Bonnie’s was where the Texaco sign is in the pic (SE corner of the intersection of 19th and NW Lovejoy). I would have thought it would have been there in 1952. Does anybody know when the drive-in was built and replaced the gas station?

  8. Best tacos on earth as I remember, bean sprouts, sour cream , and my first guacamole with pounds of re-fried beans and beef. all for under 2 bucks.

  9. ..and late at night some of us went in when it was closed and had percussion jams on the pots, pans, soda canisters, etc.

    Worship Sunny Jim apple butter and Uneeda biscuits.

    “ohhh pen other ennndd.”

    The 60’s are overrated – the mid 70’s was the best.

  10. I find it amazing that some of the sidewalk concrete still retains a crack in after 59 years. Note the crack in the curve of the curb where it turns into a driveway in the bottom of the picture. Then go to google earth and have a look. Same curb, same crack! Amazing!

  11. I used to visit Heavy Number Taco when visiting Portland in ’73-’74 while selling pots-n-pans for LustreCraft on Sandy. I probably got a taco from Steve when he wasn’t toking up. All the help was always stoned. I’ve thought about resurrecting the concept here. Not the stoner stuff, but the taco concept.
    By the way, Steve O; Sunny Jim sez “jam it…”

  12. Yep Heavy Number Taco as I remember was in an old service station at 21st and Lovejoy

    The other one I remember from early 70s was Wheel of Fortune coffee house a few blocks north on the west side of 21st. Run by the Holy Order of Mans. A bowl of homemade soup with a slice of bread could be had for 50 cents.

  13. Elliott, yes I remember that place too, it was great. And yes Heavy Number was a converted gas station.

  14. Right behind the Royal Arms apts is a little house with a store in front ( 1024 nw 19th) does anyone remember what was in the store. I’m trying to trace its history.


  15. There was this stoner lore about Heavy Number Taco Company that always began with, “It used to be that”, or “when it first opened”, you could buy pot or hash or acid or other delicacy by asking for its designated number (one that wasn’t used for food on the menu). For instance, you’d ask for a “Heavy Number 9”, or whatever it would be, and “Steve O” would know to sell you mescaline. Likely never true, but in that era not completely implausible either. I can at least imagine an employee, if not Steve O, then some othe longhaired high-flyin’ bamboo bong makin’ kitchen percussionist just liike him, having something like that going on for a while. Probably until whoever owned it (?) found out.

    In my memory there wasn’t much more than a “Heavy Number 1” and a “Heavy Number 2” on a menu board, but that may very well be because I only ordered one or the other, being at all times too stoned for complex decision-making in those halcyon, $10 lid days.

  16. Well, that puts the rumor to rest as far as I’m concerned. It would not surprise me if, some four decades later, you’re the first person who actually worked there to have ever even heard there was such a rumor.

  17. I absolutely loved Heavy Number Taco Company! My mom used to take the three of us there for dinner in the summer. Would love to see that recreated somewhere!

    Another favorite memory of Portland area restaurants was Yaws, where we would be handed Tootsie Rolls by the “cop” patrolling the parking lot.

  18. I loved the HNTC; I also remember they had one located on about 60th and Halsey. I wished I knew everything that was included in their #1 and #2, they were fabulous!!

  19. Just got to thinking about Heavy Number Taco Company the other day; reminiscing about the halcyon days of High School (Class of 77, John Adams HS). Yaw’s Top Notch, Stanich’s 10 ’til 1, and in the early to mid eighties, Michael’s Chicago Style Sandwich’s near Sandy Blvd. and Burnside, and southbound 11th. Having had genuine Chicago Cheese Steaks in the Windy City, nobody in Portland could beat Michael’s. Parchman Farm anyone? Cheers.

  20. Yep 1975 heavy number Taco Company rented one of those Brownstone Apartments efficiencies that were built at the end of World War II for returning that’s my landlady live downstairs owned an old Colt 45 still pack the powder by hand my Lord what a gun and what a crazy crazy old woman

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