“It’s a mix of words—what is that called?” Mickey Ball said, looking toward Trevor DeCuir, who responded quickly with, “Portmanteau.” The two men were standing on a smooth concrete floor, amidst plaster and industrial brick walls. “Portmanteau, that’s it. A mix of two words in one. So you have Mickey plus ‘Quixote’ from the novel ‘Don Quixote’ and you get 'McQuixote’s Books and Coffee.'”
Ball and DeCuir, along with Jeffrey Wessel (who was on the road to pick up an espresso machine), are the three partners opening McQuixote’s Books and Coffee—hopefully by the first day of summer, June 21. The bookstore will feature mostly used books, as well as highlighting works by regional authors.
“I was in Northern California for a couple years and began an online bookstore, but I wanted to get involved with people. There was such a disconnect with online sales. So I called up Jeffrey and Trevor to see if they would want to open one here, and start a coffee shop with it,” said Ball.
Both men agreed, and they began hunting for a location, but the way in which they ended up in the open, industrial space shared with the Tim Faulkner Art Gallery on Portland Avenue—which will ultimately serve as a sort of all-purpose art space, featuring books, music, and visual art—was relatively roundabout.
“We heard there were things going on down in Portland, and we went on a tour with Matt Gillis [a partner in Shine Contracting, which is one of the development agencies investing in the Portland area] just to look at all the spaces, but with everything we saw we said ‘no, this isn’t really the space for us,’” said DeCuir. “Then we found a space we really liked on Barret Avenue, and while we had a really clear vision of what we wanted, the funding didn’t come through and it was just out of our reach.”
“Then a friend of mine suggested we come talk to Tim [Faulkner], and that’s how we ended up here,” DeCuir said.
Ball and DeCuir are also excited about being part of the imminent artistic movement in the Portland neighborhood, and about breaking down the metaphorical ‘Ninth Street Wall.’
“It’s about opening up this part of the city,” Ball said.
DeCuir continued: “Everyone we’ve talked to in the community is really excited to see things like this happening. I would like this space to be a spot for opportunity in the community; we’re trying to reach out to people in the community who are looking to expand their skill set, be that in books or coffee or both. We also want to have reading groups and poetry readings—just a place for socialization opportunities in the community.”
Cover photo courtesy of Shutterstock. Copyright: Ahuli Labutin