There is a big banner hanging from the Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge at Tillamook and Williams. The yellow lettering boldly says “Open to the Public.” The fraternal organization hasn’t always been open to the public. The club has occupied the corner since 1959 and historically has been members only. The club is now hosting many weekly events, like free Jazz on Sundays from 5-8 pm. Their full bar serves cocktails, Executive Groove lays down the music, the dance floor is open and food is available. The club hosts card games on Mondays and Thursdays, has a DJ on Friday nights and is finishing a new kitchen soon.
The Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge is a great place to meet neighbors and support the boldly standing Black-owned building of Portland’s African-American community.
Sundays 5-8 pm
Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge
6 N Tillamook St
Northeast Portland used to be a hot bed of jazz clubs back in the 1960’s. Audiences enjoyed a plethora of musicians as they came through Portland including some really big names such as Coleman Hawkins and Thelonious Monk. Now, as we have all seen, the neighborhood has changed, the jazz clubs are gone, and there are varying opinions about the motivations and impact that gentrification has had. However, there is movement afoot to bring jazz back to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.