There is something amazing and dangerous about a bar/rock club that doubles as a boutique. Happy hour would never be boring, and if you were to get sick of your outfit midway through catching a show, you could just pick up something else. It would be 21+. Now that Omnibus is swinging open its doors, all of these things will come true for Portland.
Talk about an underground location: Omnibus occupies the former longtime basement home of local icon Walt Curtis, in the belly of the East End (203 SE Grand). The space has been completely redone (an in-progress viewing revealed a pink-and-black theme) as a collective effort between East End owners Michele McDonnell and Gabe Lageson, along with Niki Smith and Clint O'Hearn. Their pooled specialties have created an inventory of vintage and new clothing, records, guitars, and band gear. There will be limited edition T-shirts printed with the work of Portland artists, exclusive fringed tops by Luxury Jones, scarves by embroidery artist Chromium Dumb Belle, leather jackets and Ts by Chicago's Straight to Hell, one-offs from legendary Doyle Mueser NYC's Jake Mueser (past clients have included Royston Langdon and Steven Tyler), Runaways-inspired denim and leather by Bay Area designer and musician Erin Emslie, vintage re-creations turned out by McDonnell and Smith, and more.
On the music end, Lageson (who handles the club's booking) and O'Hearn (the longtime former manager of the Eastside Everyday Music) will sell mainly vintage vinyl of the soul/psych/punk variety, and down the road they plan to launch a re-issue label, too. Musicians passing through will find everything from convenience items (drum sticks, ear plugs, guitar strings) to vintage guitar parts.
Citing inspirations like Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's SEX shop, Biba, and the record store scene from A Clockwork Orange, the symbiosis between club and store runs deep. It follows that its opening will be marked with a weekend's slew of bands. Things kick off when the club opens for happy hour (the store will keep the rock 'n' roll lifestyle hours of 4 pm-midnight Wednesday-Sunday), where those who want to peruse the merch can do so in relative quietude, with a party featuring Ty Segall, the Mean Jeans, and Pure Country Gold going late into the night.
Last call for shopping's at midnight. (Omnibus grand opening, 203 SE Grand, Sat July 3, 4 pm, free; show 9 pm, $10)