Rocky Butte Espresso Bar is Open


Photo credit: Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters

Today the Rocky Butte Espresso Bar opened up for business in a space on the corner of NE Fremont and 85th Avenue. There’s not much in the way of cafe action out here east of 82nd Ave, so their arrival is a much-welcomed development. We first learned about the new spot from James Helms, one of the owners of Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters, over on Nextdoor, and the response by the community was heartening and impressive. I can attest to the fact that their coffee is delicious, and having had a cup today when I stopped by reminded me of just how tasty it is.

If you remember back in August of last year, James and the Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters were competing for a grant to help fund a community space and coffee shop. In the end, they received a check for $2,000 via the 4th annual IMPACT Pitch competition organized Business Impact NW, and that money has helped them seed this new operation in the Madison South/Rocky Butte neighborhood.


Pricing for espresso drinks etc.

At the espresso bar, look for hot and iced espresso drinks—lattes, mochas, cortados, etc. There are baked goods available from Bishop & Sons, a wonderful black-owned business here in Portland that makes delicious and comforting sweet treats. I picked up a loaf of the pumpkin bread and it did not disappoint. You can also buy bags of beans (we picked up some of their excellent Boulder Blend).


Good price on beans plus the treats from Bishop & Sons

The espresso bar will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 7am to 2pm (a church uses the space on Sundays). Right now it’s a walk up setup but they hope once things get resolved re: Covid19, they can add some seating. As an aside, they are in the same little shopping center as the Shopeteria and the wonderful Taqueria La Mestiza, which we stopped at to pick up some panuchos and salbutes for lunch.

A little bit about the mission and intent inherent to the Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters and Espresso Bar, from their press release:

“Madison South residents and owners James and Sheryl Helms began roasting coffee commercially in 2017 with a vision to bring neighbors together through coffee. They will continue to deliver freshly-roasted and ethically-sourced coffee to home and business subscribers. Opening their first espresso bar two blocks from their home is a dream come true. They are eager to serve friends and meet neighbors they haven’t yet.

“An independent coffee shop has been at the top of many residents’ wish lists for the neighborhood, and Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters believes the same community support that brought over one-thousand people to last summer’s first Rocky Butte Farmers’ Market will propel the espresso bar to success amidst the coronavirus and an industry downturn. They look forward to becoming even more enmeshed in the community and envisioning the future of space together.”

We are so happy to have the Rocky Butte Espresso Bar nearby and look forward to enjoying their coffee and more on the regular. I can see myself stopping in after doing one of my longer walks down toward Dharma Rain. Best of luck to James and the whole Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters family in this new venture!


Rocky Butte Espresso Bar
8505 NE Fremont Street, Portland | Instagram | Facebook

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Bridgetown Bites is written by Meg Cotner, a food loving freelance writer, editor and published author in Portland, OR.

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