Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vintage Roadside rediscovers the Kupie Cone sign

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.


Lynnmarie97267 said...

I just recently came upon this article and would like to know where the Kupie Cone sign is. We are the original owners, and in the beginning it said Bruce's Kupie Cone. I would love to see what we can do to get the sign placed. I had talked with Peter about getting the sign back and never heard another word.

Vintage Roadside said...

Hi Lynn,

Thanks for your comment. Also thanks for sharing the bit of history regarding the name. I've sent you an email:-)

Gerry Shelley said...

I also just recently came upon this posting and have fond memories of the "Kupie Cone". My step Dad, Tom Brislawn was also an owner up until demolition. I remember manning the counter at 14yrs of age for one of my first jobs. Please let me know if it can be viewed. Also if Lynn is listening I would be very pleased to swap stories with you. We apparently live close by each other in Oak Grove if your zip is 97267. Hugh & Gerry Shelley