5/26/2024
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Portland natives introduce late-night coffee shop with Somali twist


Wednesday April 10, 2024
By Jashayla Pettigrew




PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new Pearl District lounge could be the perfect spot to fulfill your late-night coffee fix.

Located on 419 NW Broadway, Above GRND held its soft opening in early April. The coffee shop was co-founded by siblings Ahlam Osman and Abdulrahim Osman, along with close friend Mehamed Ali.

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The business is situated above and partners with BridgeCity Soles, a shoe store that celebrated its own opening in September 2023.

Ahlam Osman said the area is becoming a sneaker hub, with sneaker-themed café Deadstock Coffee and footwear design company Hilos just a drive away.

Above GRND features a similar, yet homier aesthetic, with sneakers, wicker chairs and a cozy green couch on display.

The owners are ready to introduce the coffee shop’s fresh vibe to the neighborhood.

“I think Old Town has kind of a bad rap since the pandemic, especially with the big businesses moving out with the houselessness and all of that, but we really see a lot of potential in this neighborhood and this district and area, in terms of small businesses growing here,” Osman said.



Above GRND owners (left to right) Mehamed Ali, Abdulrahim Osman and Ahlam Osman.

Since Portland is often recognized as a coffee city, it can be difficult for new shops to make a name for themselves. But according to Osman, one attribute that sets Above GRND apart from similar businesses is the cultural aspect.

She, her brother and Ali are all Somali — a culture that is proudly depicted in the coffee shop’s offerings.

Osman told KOIN 6 that cinnamon, cardamom and bananas are popular flavors in the Somali community. Customers will notice some of those flavors on the café’s menu, which includes a banana milk latte, matcha chai latte and a cardamom-cinnamon-infused beverage.

Food isn’t offered on the menu quite yet, but the owners plan to add Somali treats and other pastries in the near future.

Another aspect that sets Above GRND apart from other businesses is its hours. Plenty of coffee shops close in the late afternoon or early evening, but the Pearl District lounge will remain open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., or while supplies last.

The founders got the idea from their community, who noted there was a need for late-night spaces that allow people to socialize with friends without going to a bar or nightclub.

Ali added that he and his team are already friendly faces in their shop, and aim to give back to their community through fundraising events.

“It’s one thing for us to pay our taxes and stuff like that, but it’s just bigger than that for us,” Ali said. “We come from a household where we have… a good family background and we like to give, so that’s our plan.”

Above GRND’s grand opening, one of its first official events, will be held this Saturday. The celebration will feature a ribbon-cutting and new menu items.





 





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