Saturday, September 18, 2021
Sept. 18, 2021

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Hockinson site transformed into cafe, sports bar, ballroom

Couple turning former Finn Hall into home for family-friendly events, cafe, sports bar and retail

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DeeAnn Stansbury and her husband, Brett, join their dog, Clover, as they look over the main venue space at the new Cloverlane Mercantile & Event Center in Hockinson. The space was formerly the Hockinson Finn Hall.
DeeAnn Stansbury and her husband, Brett, join their dog, Clover, as they look over the main venue space at the new Cloverlane Mercantile & Event Center in Hockinson. The space was formerly the Hockinson Finn Hall. (Photos by Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

HOCKINSON — DeeAnn and Brett Stansbury are transforming the historic Finn Hall into Cloverlane Mercantile & Event Center, with a cafe, sports bar, small retail space and upstairs ballroom each with its own elaborate theme.

The couple, who purchased the building in October 2020, hope to open for business this winter, depending on completing the permitting process through the county.

The two-story, 8,500-square-foot building at 16391 N.E. 182nd Ave. was built by Finnish immigrants and their families in the early 1930s. Generations of Hockinson residents used this large community space for dances, special occasions, and gatherings.

Local Lodge 24 of the United Finnish Kaleva Brothers and Sisters sold the hall in 1998. It was later used by the Heritage Bible Church.

The Stansburys live in Hockinson and said they want to create a family-friendly place for the community.

“We wanted to keep corporate America out. A place from California was looking at the space and planning to demolish it,” said Brett Stansbury.

“We thought we’d be open in April, then July. We’ve been waiting for 10 months to get things through the county,” he said.

The issue, according to the Stansburys, is that the building was never licensed as a business open to the public. In order to use the space for a business, the Stansburys must go through a Type II review through the county. They hope to complete this process by November or December so they can rent it out for holiday parties.

Fortunately, the couple’s furniture business, The Furniture Shack in Portland, made a healthy profit during the pandemic and kept them financially afloat during the time they waited to open Cloverlane.

They named their new business Cloverlane after their 8-pound miniature Yorkie, Clover, who already feels right at home in the newly renovated theme-filled space. One of those themes, Alice and Wonderland, dominates the cafe on the main floor.

“I’m a huge Disney fan,” said DeeAnn Stansbury, “Our 25th anniversary party had an Alice and Wonderland theme at McMenamins.”

The Stansburys extended that celebration by decorating their main floor cafe like the Mad Hatter’s tea party. In this area, customers can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner with coffee from Longbottom Coffee & Tea in Hillsboro, Ore., and baked goods from Marsee Baking, a wholesale bakery that sells goods to businesses in Portland and Seattle.

Next to the cafe is a sports bar for customers age 21 and over. Brett Stansbury filled this space with sports memorabilia from athletes in his family and his travels all over the world. He also customized sports-themed tables. Beer, wine, and scratch-made bar food like flatbreads, bruschetta, and smoked meats, such as brisket and pulled pork, slow cooked in an outdoor smoker, can be ordered.

The first floor also has a small retail space for customers to grab greeting cards and gifts. In the hallway next to the store are three themed bathrooms — a flowery restroom perfect for a bride to prepare for a wedding along with two other lavatories with a car and a jungle theme.

Upstairs, there’s a castle-themed ballroom with suits of armor flanking the stage and large metal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

The large space fits up to 450 people. The Stansburys plan on renting it out for events like weddings, concerts, plays, bingo games, community fairs, and other family-friendly occasions.

Dance Hall Days, a band the Stansburys found at McMenamins, will be the house band.

The Stansburys hired recent Portland State University graduate Tyler Shrake to paint the space and fill the building with everything from large murals to small decorative accents.

The owners plan to start construction on an upstairs patio and downstairs patio in January or February and hope to have it done by the spring. They’re also looking for old photos, newspaper clippings, old venue tickets, and other memorabilia from Finn Hall to fill the front wall with a history of the space. They’ve already ordered photos through Washington State University’s archives.

“People are so excited for this place to open,” said DeeAnn Stansbury. “One of the stories we hear a lot is ‘my grandparents were married here.’ ”

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