Located in the heart of Sellwood (in the old Wilhelm Funeral Home building), The Woods is a new venue sprouting up sometime this Summer. The owners—Vivien Lyon and Loch Lomond's Ritchie Young—have only been in the space for a few weeks, so the opening date, according to Young will be the "end of July," but that's tentative. They were also nice enough to let me trudge over their freshly finished hardwoods and show me a pile of ashes that is
definitely probably not your grandpa.
What the Woods does have going for them is being located in an area of town with few live music venues nearby, and none catering to the intimacy that they are structuring the space for. While the building is quite large—with an expansive upstairs area, including a closet that once housed cremated remains—the focus will be downstairs.
In the main area downstairs, there is a large showspace (the booking will be handled by Caroline Buchalter, formerly of Mississippi Studios and the Wonder Ballroom), with an adjacent bar, kitchen, and possibly another bar removed from the stage vicinity (so you're drunken chattering doesn't drown out the performers). If you guessed the venue's design scheme would be "a bunch of hicks doing art deco," you win a prize. And while Lyon's description is a little unique, the space does have a balance of DIY charm within a classic old Portland structure. And as for the obvious hauntings that will come with setting up shop in a former funeral home, other than some bleeding walls and mysterious voices that shouted "GET OUT," there is nothing to report.
We'll have more info on the Woods as it gets closer to their opening.