Jessie Burke at The Society Hotel

Tell us about yourself and your business. What makes it unique?

I am one of three partners at The Society Hotel, and I also own Posies Bakery & Cafe in the Kenton neighborhood.  My other partners are Jonathan Cohen (owner of Imagine Energy), Matt Siegel (owner of Building Blocks Construction), and Gabe Genauer (owner of Groundswell Development).  We all moved to Portland from different cities on the east coast – I am from Washington, DC, Jonathan from Philadelphia, Matt from DC, Gabe from Florida.
I have three kids, ages 9, 5 and 2, and live in the Kenton Neighborhood in North Portland and have for the last 13 years.  In my former life I was a member of the United States fencing team for some ten years.
The hotel was a concept brought to us by our friend, Matt Siegel.  Having all been avid travelers before kids, we developed the idea to highlight an historic building in order to share an amazing time capsule with the public, and focus on offering a high style, low cost option for visitors coming to Portland.  Being in the heart of Old Town and the center of transit has all been a part of our success in the one year since we opened and we couldn’t be happier being part of the neighborhood.

What do you like about being in Chinatown?

I love both the history of the neighborhood that you can see in so much of the architecture, and the number of movers and shakers that are located down here. There are people that are setting trends for the city and the nation with offices across the street, political activists, and we are living in the heart of the issues people talk about on a daily basis. We are where the rubber meets the road and you can see the impact of policies real time.

What else do you like to do in the neighborhood, besides work?

I love getting lunch at Golden Horse (those dried string beans and eggplant dishes are amazing!) Tea at Red Robe… the only boba in the neighborhood! I love visiting all of my business friends at their offices, chatting with Jay from Darcelle’s. And we joined the Chinese Garden to take our families when the kids join us at the hotel. So serene.

How does your business contribute to the neighborhood?

I think our business contributes some much needed foot traffic to the neighborhood. It also provides activation on a corner that had long been inactive, and that helps others feel safe in the neighborhood and want to spend more time there. 🙂