Art abounds at Foster ‘Tasting Tour’

See why local artists were the highlight of this event, that started as a ‘pub crawl’ …

Business is brisk at all kinds of businesses, as visitors take the “Foster Road Tasting Tour” in the Foster-Powell neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The “Foster Road Tasting Tour” started out last year as a modest idea, hatched by members of the Foster Area Business Association (FABA).

The “Tasting Tour” involved inviting people to check out the retail businesses along SE Foster Road, from 50th Avenue to 82nd Avenue, by having participating restaurants, taverns and bars offer specials on the second Saturday in July.

“Tasting Tour Ambassador” Jason Brown – owner of Po’Boy Art & Framingshows one of his works, a painting of “Tony Clifton”, an alter-ego of comedian Andy Kaufman.

This year, held on July 8, this promotional event expanded, coupling with the regular “Second Saturday Art Walk on Foster”. Again, businesses gave out “passports” that customers used to collect stickers from art galleries and family friendly businesses, as well as bars and food carts to win prizes.

“This has gone from eight businesses participating last year, to more than twenty involved with this year, not counting additional businesses that have joined in,” said FABA President Matthew Micetic of Red Castle Games.

Business is brisk during the “Tasting Tour” says Red Castle Games owner Matthew Micetic.

Planning and promoting this year’s event has increased FABA’s membership, making it a good investment from that standpoint, Micetic told East Portland News. “We’ve instituted two metrics for measuring success: how many new customers can be directly attributed to the event, and what that means in terms of revenue.”

At this “Cannabis Fair”, hosted by FABA member Foster Buds many visitors learned about new products from licensed manufacturers.

The food and beverage establishments again did well, but there was a marked, visible increase in foot traffic of visitors at art galleries and other retail businesses along Foster Road.

After the results were tallied up, Micetic said more than 200 customers made nearly 500 purchases during the 8 hour long “Tasting Tour”. “The second year of this new event boasted a 110% increase in participating businesses, a 98% increase in customers, and a 233% increase in sales,” he revealed.

Visitor Dylan Dow stops in to visit with Flat Blak Gallery owner and artist Rudi Broschofsky.

Although Red Castle Games didn’t offer art, food or drink, owner Micetic said, “We had about 60 new people come into my business to learn about board games, and several of them made purchases.”

The promotion is not yet completely over. They’ll be drawing names from qualifying entries in August; look for the winners, and learn more about FABA, on their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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