Ah, Quality Pie. On NW 23rd across from the hospital. In the late 80s I was a wide-eyed, parochial-schooled suburbanite. Quality Pie, in addition to Powell’s and the McDonalds (now Rich’s Cigars) by the Galleria, was my introduction to the city. Sipping coffee into the wee hours, we observed eccentric late night Portland while we shared grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, or a slice of truly quality pie.
1992. The reprehensible Measure 9 made it to the ballot in Oregon, the Blazers lost to the Bulls in the NBA finals, and the legendary Quality Pie closed. The Willy Week, at the time, summed it up:
Portland loses another dining institution when Quality Pie, a 24-hour haven for hipsters, scenesters, scamsters, hamsters, rock stars (pre- and post-nova), street people, alcoholics in various stages of recovery, poets, gamers, insomniacs and other assorted creatures of the night, serves its final cup of joe.
But the year wasn’t all bad. The abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse Measure 9 was soundly defeated by the citizens of Oregon, I turned 21, and Dot’s started serving up jalapeno cheddar fries.
Other QP memories:
- Northwest Portland sites sit barren amid bustle – Portland Tribune
- quality pie – The Long Way Around
More 30-something Portlander’s Flashbacks:
#1: Sam’s Hof Brau
#2: Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours.
And right down the street was Rose’s. I’d trudge from school and wait for trimet to whisk me to the safety of Beaverton. But not before going in and buying ‘after eight’ mints.
I don’t remember Quality Pie 🙁 but I guess in 1992 I was in the 8th grade in middle school not doing much else beside riding into town (Battle Ground) for a shake and burger at Burgerville and most definitely not hanging out in Portland. I would have never survived.
McAngryPants – I remember Rose’s giant glazed donuts . . . but that’s about it.
VeganFabulous – Think the Roxie or the Hotcake House, but with more space, light, and servers walking around with coffee pots all night.
I love pie. I love cherry pie made with real cherries, not that pie filling stuff. You can’t get good pie anymore unless you make it yourself. And by you, I mean not me, because that would not be good pie.
I heart pie too. Maybe XUP and I can get someone to make us some.
Bob Nelson says
Guys who went to Lincoln High in the 50’s and 60’s remember the Quality Pie Shop as their home after midnight.
The burger D “burger deluxe” was famous as were the stores of conquests.
We use to date the nurses across the street and mash the girls on 23rd Ave.
Those were the days! Big cars, good cigars and lots of wild women.
I have a great picture of the gang outside the “Q.P.” for those who are interested.
Quality pie was not for pie. It was for after hours greasy breakfast served by surly no nonsense waitresses.
To Heather and XUP. You can get good pies. My cafe makes good pies including cherry pie not made with fluorescent pie filling. Our pies are pies like grandma, or in my case mother, used to make. They are not factory pies or Martha Stewart pies. We sell whole, or by the slice. There is typically 4 to 8 varieties of fruit pie, and 2 to 4 varieties of cream pies available at any time. If you hurry you can still order Christmas Pies.
Whole pie $16.25 plus tin deposit. Slice $3.25.
Shameless plug or just trying to help a fellow pie lovers out.
7901 SE stark
You all sound so young. I graduated from Sunset HIgh School in 1966. I remember
the Quality Pie Shop in my youth. Rose’s was a given. Northwest Portland had not yet
come into it’s new incarnation. Late night in that neighborhood was wonderful. I now
live in New Orleans and I miss my youth in Portland. Talk to me if you remember.
@Chuck – You might find this facebook group interesting: Dead Memories Portland.
Kathleen Schultz says
Partisan Pete is right – I have eaten pie at the Bipartisan Cafe and it is fantastic.
jacob allman says
i loved QP i miss it like a good friend who has passed on,. especially those surly waitresses.
I worked at Quality Pie in the early 80’s while going to nursing school across the street. Myroommates stepmom waitressed there and her dad eventually bought it, Moving from a small town of 4000 on the coast, this was my introduction to Portland. Worked nights and when the bars closed it was crazy! Loved the waitresses I worked with and the cab drivers who hung out!
Bob Nelson I’d love to see that picture! You will probably never read this 🙁
Do you now who own this logo? There is a quality pie in charlottesville with a logo 100% exact. is it copyright?
Allan Classen says
I’m writing a story about the redevelopment of the QP site.
I’d appreciate photos or memories of about the place.
Call me at NW Examiner 503 241 2353.
John Kennedy says
I worked at Quality Pie for arou andnd 6 months,in 89,90. I remember when I lived on the streets,it was a refuge from the rain and cold winters,and when I was I going to a lot of AA meetings at the Alono club a couple of blocks away,after meetings,I would go there quite oft, had sex with the cake decorator,a few times,”happy memories”, I remember when it closed, sad day
I miss eating there at 5am… Allot of people from the City night club when it was on 13th used to go there.
Sarah B. says
Lucky Me w/ a sister who Lived on NW 23rd in late ’70’s !! Been to Quality Pie Multiple X’s & The Stepping Stone Too > nw 24rth & Quimby !! Enjoyed Thanksgiving Supper at Quality Pie my 1rsr year @ Evergreen State College. SO worth the journey from Olywa. ! Miss ’em but CHERISH THE MEMORIES ~ Always !!
Sarah B. Meardon says
Many great memories & meals at Quality Pie from the late ’70’s on ! Had Thanksgiving Supper in November , 1984 ! Lucky Me !! 23rd & Lovejoy will always have a Corner Piece of My Heart remembering the Fabulous Fryer’s Quality Pie ! xoSB