Fans of Southeast Portland's neon signs and neighborhood mom and pop restaurants were sad to see the Kupie Cone restaurant lost to development a couple of years back. While many of us still miss the great neighborhood drive in hamburgers and soft serve ice cream, what many more of us miss is the classic neon sign standing at the corner of SE 39th and Holgate. There was initial thought that the sign would remain when the new building went up, but as development began the sign simply disappeared. Then there was the hope that perhaps the sign had been taken down for preservation reasons and when the construction was finished the sign would be reinstalled. Unfortunately this was not to be the case. For the past few years we've had many conversations with people who fondly remember the Kupie Cone and its wonderful sign. The conversation usually ends with the question of "What happened to the sign?"
We also wondered what happened to the sign and still looked for it every time we drove by - hoping it had somehow magically reappeared. When we heard a vague rumor the sign may still be out there we decided to track it down. We were thrilled to discover the sign still exists and has been partially restored. As you can see in the photo above the neon on one side has been restored and the sign still looks great! Details of why the sign was not placed back at 39th and Holgate along with how the sign came to be where it is now are somewhat murky. We'd prefer to just enjoy the fact that someone who cared about the sign made the effort to save it. From all of us who love this sign - Thanks!
As for the former location, we're left with the words "Kupie Corner" in backlit plastic letters. Being fans of classic neon signs we'd sure prefer to have seen the old sign lighting up the corner for another 40 years or so.