At the corner of NW 4th Avenue and NW Glisan St. in Old Town Portland, the members of the Blanchet Club found a space for rent with a kitchen and went to work preparing it to welcome guests. The top floors of the three-story building were being used as a brothel and gambling parlor. The club members raised money from their friends, families, and churches to pay the first month’s rent of $35. With the help of volunteers, they opened their doors to the public on February 11, 1952. They served a simple offering of beans, bread, butter, and coffee. All donated from local businesses.
“It took about two years of preparation to finally open the doors on Feb. 11, 1952,” Jim O’Hanlon told the Oregonian in 2011. “Countless hours were spent walking Old Town to find the right facility.”