April 16, 2024


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Pamplin Media Group – Fleshing out the Metropolis

Several new eateries and more expected have Woodburn’s Metropolis hopping; open house slated for new diner, bistro bar.

COURTESY PHOTO: ERIC SWENSON - Isaak Flores and Yesenia Lopez hired on to help the Swenson family with their new 1950s-style diner, 'Woodburn Rocks.' Located downtown in the Metropolis building, the diner and Tequilas Bistro Bar will hold grand openings beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, July 30.If you are in Woodburn with a group of people who are ready to eat — but not everyone’s in agreement about the type of restaurant — chances are that problem can be solved downtown at the Metropolis.

The longer-standing, better-know establishment in the building is the Hungry Lion, with its eclectic Asian food menu that includes teriyaki, yakisoba, Chinese and Thai options along with boba tea.PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Tequila's Bistro Bar owner Elizabeth Guzman said her new establishment at the Metropolis building in downtown Woodburn will serve a tried and true Mexican menu. Tequila's and Woodburn Rocks Diner will have grand openings at the Metropolis, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, July 30.

But in recent months and weeks, the complexion of the building has filled out with the opening of La Onda coffee shop, Tequila’s Bistro Bar and Woodburn Rocks Diner.

The diner and bistro bar will be holding a joint open house beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, July 30, with the rockabilly, do-wop, rhythm and blues band Billy & the Rockets set to take the stage at 6 p.m.

Located at the west end of the building across from Hungry Lion, Tequila’s features a tried-and-true Mexican menu as owner Elizabeth Guzman spent 12 years at El Agave Grill in northeast Woodburn and five years prior to that at Potrillos Restaurant in Newberg.

Guzman believes the most popular items on her full-fledged menu will be the mariscos or seafood items. She also plans to eventually make personal-pan and larger-pan pizzas.

Meanwhile, at the Front Street end of the building, former educator Eric Swenson and his family opened a colorfully “counterculture” (circa 60-to-early-70s) coffee shop, La Onda or The Wave, earlier this year. They followed that up with a 1950s-themed diner, the Woodburn Rocks Diner.COURTESY PHOTO - Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce holds a ribbon cutting for Woodburn Rocks Diner at the Metropolis. The diner and another Metropolis recent addition, Tequilas Bistro Bar, will hold grand openings beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, July 30.

“This adventure combines my desire to be able to have time to better connect with people I already know, meet new people and also be part of our downtown economic revitalization,” said Swenson, who also serves as Woodburn’s mayor and on the Woodburn School Board. “It also gives me a great opportunity to share about Woodburn to those visiting our area from out of town.

“What better way to do that than by serving coffee and burgers to people in the heart of Woodburn — all while listening to ’50s and ’60s music all day,” Swenson added.PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - La Onda (The Wave) coffee shop is among the new establishments that opened in the Metropolis this year. The 70s themed coffee stop is directly across from a 50s-style diner, Woodburn Rocks.

Other attractions in the building include sweet refreshments and frozen yogurt from Brr Berry. Swenson said there have been discussions with an entrepreneur about adding an Italian restaurant into the mix, and Guatemalan food is served there on certain days.

A longer-term, overarching aim is to find someone interested in serving Russian cuisine, rounding out the building’s culturally-diverse menu and reflecting the city it serves.

If you go

What: Open house for Woodburn Rocks Diner and Tequila’s Bistro Bar.

When: 5 p.m. Friday, July 30.

Where: Metropolis Marketplace and Event Venue, 347 N. Front St., Woodburn.

Featured: Entertainment by Billy & the Rockets from 6 to 8 p.m.

Web and contact: 503-709-0626; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

metropolisoregon.comPMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - With several new businesses recently opening, the Metropolis is fleshing out into a popular gathering spot with culturally varied menus. Billy & the Rockets will be performing from 6 to 8 p.m. there Friday, July 30, as Woodburn Rocks Diner and Tequila's Bistro Bar hold grand openings.

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