Art Chowder September | October 2021 Issue No. 35 Issue 35 | Page 37
named after early mental health pioneer Dr . James C . Hawthorne , who opened the Oregon State Hospital for the Insane , the first in the Pacific Northwest , in 1861 — he is now more famously known for Hawthorne Boulevard , the street that now bears his name .
Hawthorne Asylum showcases Victorian gothic designs mashed with mural creatives and apocalyptic art . Here , the allure of variety and fast food brings diners from all over . There is nowhere in the Pacific Northwest that quite compares to this quirky food atmosphere .
Steve Johnson and his son Brock are the artists behind its inventive vibe , with varying concrete surfaces and garbageeating robots juxtaposed with industrial railroad and trucking equipment from a bygone era .
“ I sketched the designs on a piece of paper and tried to keep its original features from when it was first constructed . Then we built and welded everything . I wanted a place where people can gather with long tables , so families can sit down with their kids .” says owner Steve Johnson .
He adds , “ What sets Hawthorne Asylum offerings apart from other food truck pods , is we handpicked the most diverse and most original menu offerings that Portland has to offer .”
With 23 food cart pods to choose from , there is something for everyone including picky eaters . But as a food connoisseur I opted for Guyanese cuisine , and I was not disappointed .