Voodoo Doughnut Casts Spell On P-Town

What's that smell coming from Old Town? No, not that. It's sugary and cream-filled decadent delights, courtesy of Voodoo Doughnut!

Opening April 1, 2003, Voodoo Doughnut hopes to fill a hole in the world of Portland cuisine, serving up possessed pastries, hot coffee, and gyros to all those stumbling scenesters rolling out of the clubs of P-town. The 24-hour store, set right around the corner from Berbati's Pan, is a joint venture run by partners Tres Shannon and Kenneth "Emcee Cat Daddy" Pogson of Portland Organic Wrestling and Barfly fame.

Passing through the giant brass doughnut outside the front door, visitors will be entranced by the vodoo vibes, including the "Wall of Mercy"--where selected celebrities will have their pictures, declaring them hex-free. Since both doughnut dudes are ordained by the Universal Life Church, they'll also perform weddings on the spot--replete with multi-layered doughnut wedding cakes. Its owners hope to create a local institution--"a Church of Elvis, minus the Elvis," says Pogson.

But it won't be gimmick over gourmet, as Pogson quickly adds. "All the voodoo, 24-hour hokey hoopla is secondary to putting out a good, quality doughnut. And we know that!"

The idea for the Voodoo Doughnut came from a trip Pogson made to Vegas, where he saw doughnut shops on the strip. He and Shannon had been looking into opening a business for a few years, but the idea of another downtown bar seemed tired. They needed a hook. A niche. In other words, they needed a place where a fella can get a cup of joe and something to munch on downtown at midnight.

"Portland needs more late-night eateries. I mean, what kind of coffee are you going to get at the bar at that time? And Starbucks is closed," Pogson says.

The doughnut duo will focus on about 14 or 15 recipes to start. The basics will all be there: glazed, raised, powdered, jelly-filled. But there will also be some far-out fritters, including a doughnut of the month, a deep-fried Snickers bar, and the flagship Voodoo Doughnut, which will resemble what else? A voodoo doll.

Don't want doughnuts? Voodoo is also cooking up recipes for Greek Gyros and greasy french fries. "We got the sweet, we got the meat," Pogson says.

As far as suppliers and vendors, the Voodoo boys say it's all about the PDX. They'll use as many local vendors as possible, so expect Stumptown coffee steaming into the street.

"We want to do whatever we can to support local businesses," Pogson emphasizes. Is that a jab at the incoming East Coast über-doughnut chain soon planting itself in Portland? "We prefer not to mention them," Shannon winces.

But how will those "Krusty Krunch" guys really affect this whole plan? "I think it'll help us you know, increase doughnut awareness, but attract folks who want something quality, local, and unique," Shannon says.

Voodoo hopes it will rake most of its dough in the mornings, when downtown business people pop in off the street. And then at night the wackiness will kick into full gear with weddings, DJ events, and the like.

As says the wacky Tres Shannon, "Portland's just a quirky enough town for something like this to work."

Voodoo Doughnut, 22 SW 3rd, open 22-24 hours per day, Mon-Sat


Okay kids, it's time to get serious. As the government becomes more and more enthused on the idea of suppressing the rights ofoh, just about anyone who poses a potential inconvenience, it behooves us to take action. Perhaps it's too soon to be digging trenches in the backyard and stockpiling crude weaponry (perhaps not), but at the very least we should steel ourselves for crucial, tumultuous times ahead. The first step: Know thine enemy. Lucky stars for us, there are movies for this kind of thing.

Berlusconi's Mousetrap documents the massive protests that took place in 2001 during the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy. In addition to recording the violence and brutality that erupted between the police and demonstrators, Mousetrap examines the degree of likelihood that the event was manipulated by the Powers That Be. Following the screening will be a question-and-answer session with a representative of Ireland's Indymedia, which produced the film.

And while you're at it, fill out your educational preparedness by learning about the history of fascism in the United States. And no, you don't need to enroll or buy any books for this. These history classes are being offered for free, so recall that next time you're staring down a bullet chamber screeching, "Please, I didn't know!"

Remember: education first, urban warfare later! MARJORIE SKINNER

Film: Clinton St. Theater, 2522 SE Clinton, 238-8899, Thursday, 8 pm, $6; History Class: Laughing Horse Books, 3652 SE Division, 236-2893, last Saturdays, free

Paula Abdul Cool

Paula Abdul, having gotten the short shrift in her current occupation as a lowly American Idol judge, will finally be recognized for her infinite talents. This Tuesday, a collection of rightfully reverent Portland bands and DJs will pay tribute to Ms. Abdul's higher callings: as a professional dancer, and as an accomplished recording artist.

Paula Abdul Tribute Night organizer Jared White, also known as deejay Maxim Basa, explains: "She's an inspiration to America; come on." Performing all the hits--such as the rousing, comical "Opposites Attract," the sultry, accusing "Straight Up," and the heart-wrenching ballad "Rush Rush"--will be Sirplus Sircuts, The M "Switch," Magnum PA, and Slezzebot. Maxim Basa and Mikeycbabydaddy are your hosts and, in honor of Ms. Abdul's past as a choreographer for the Lakers and Janet Jackson, back-up dancers will indeed be present. "It's sort of an April Fool's Day thing, but we've covered all our bases when it comes to Paula," assures White. In addition, the bands shall each perform a few originals.

In a world where musical talent has given way to fashion gimmick and hair grease, it's refreshing to see credit being given where credit is due. Some may not recall Abdul's endless skills as a singer and performer. But it brings pride to my heart when I say that we Portlanders will never forget. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

Paula Abdul Tribute Night, Tues April 1, Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine, 230-2111, 8 pm, $5.