The Northwest is home to a number of intriguing international districts in which to host your next meeting or event. From a museum in Seattle to a traditional Vietnamese restaurant in Portland and a high-energy nightclub in Vancouver, here are six spots you should definitely check out.
SEATTLE; CHINATOWNI NTERNATIONAL DISTRICT
Wing Luke Museum
“We’re the only museum in the country that represents 26 different Asian-American ethnicities and communities,” says Rayann Onzuka, Wing Luke Museum’s senior front of house manager. “A lot of other museums are like, for instance, the Japanese American National Museum, which covers just Japanese Americans.”
The Wing Luke Museum has 12 exhibit spaces covering the represented communities’ different social justice issues, histories and cultures. Group tours are available both of the museum and Seattle’s ChinatownInternational District.
The Wing Luke Museum has a rich history. “The building we’re in was one of the first built in Chinatown after the original neighborhood burnt down in 1889,” Onzuka says. “It was built in 1910, and we were able to preserve a lot of it when we renovated in 2007. Formerly the Freeman Hotel, the building’s third floor still has a lot of the hotel spaces. It was the first stop for many Asian Americans.”
The museum has five event spaces. Groups can also rent the entire facility, which can accommodate up to 80 guests for a seated dinner and up to 500 for a cocktail party. Groups must provide their own caterer.
Nisei Veterans Committee Memorial Hall
Preserving and honoring Japanese American World War II veterans is the mission of the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC). The NVC also provides programs that meet the educational, cultural and social needs of the broader community.
The NVC Memorial Hall was built in 1938 as a dojo—or training facility—for Kendo Kai, a Japanese discipline of martial arts using two-handed swords. The hall was abandoned in the spring of 1942 when the city’s Japanese American community was displaced and interned during World War II. After the deed was transferred to the NVC by the Kendo Kai in 1951, the membership remodeled the building. A more dramatic remodel took place in 2005, and the completely updated hall was rededicated in March 2008.
“It became a place where Japanese American veterans could meet, reminisce and everything else. It was for the veterans and the community,” says NVC president Ted Tomita.
A gymnasium upstairs can accommodate up to 200 guests seated. A dining room on the main level can host up to 60 guests seated. Groups must provide their own caterer.
Hing Hay Coworks
Freelancers, entrepreneurs and small startup companies, take note: Hing Hay Coworks is for you.
“We’re a collaborative workspace, which is a fancy way of saying coworking,” says Program Supervisor Eliza Chan. “We offer things such as printing [services] and meeting rooms. We have a lot of nonprofit organizations that come here.”
The venue is all-inclusive for members. Outside bookings have access to two conference rooms: one that can accommodate up to 18 guests and one that can host up to 10 guests. Three smaller meeting rooms are available for members. Outside groups can rent the entire facility as event space for up to 100 guests standing. It is recommended that groups use a caterer from Hing Hay Coworks’ preferred list.
PORTLAND, OREGON ; JADE DISTRICT
Ocean City Seafood Restaurant
According to the Portland Chinese Times, Ocean City Seafood Restaurant is “one of Portland’s finest Chinese cuisines.”
Showcasing a true family-style Chinese dining experience, Ocean City Seafood Restaurant’s recipes are influenced by the different regions of China. “Our recipes and Asian-inspired dishes possess flavors that represent the best in traditional and contemporary cooking styles,” says Lisa Fan, manager.
The restaurant’s dim sum, which means “touch of heart,” offers guests a diverse variety of scrumptious dishes, including the everpopular fried and steamed dumplings.
Groups can rent a large, semiprivate table in the back, or they can rent the entire venue, which can accommodate up to 250 guests.
For traditional Vietnamese cuisine, Pho Kim is the perfect spot.
“Most people come here for the salad roll, the shrimp roll or the chicken roll, dipping them in peanut sauce,” says owner Kim Lam. “Our beef noodle soup and chicken noodle soup are also favorites. Much of our menu is Szechuan-inspired.”
One customer review on pho-kim-portland.sites.tablehero.com says Pho Kim is the “best pho place in Portland hands down. Broth is amazing, you can really taste the beef and it is well seasoned. Generous portion and you really get a good value out of it…also get their salad rolls—a must-have!”
A semiprivate space in the back can accommodate up to 30 guests seated. Groups can rent the entire facility for up to 150 guests seated.
VANCOUVER , B.C.; CHINATOWN
Fortune Sound Club
The Fortune Sound Club is the ultimate club experience. The club’s modern décor is juxtaposed with its historic locale. What was once Ming’s Chinese Restaurant and then the Royal Unicorn Cabaret is now a revamped space focusing on innovative design, unique art and eco-friendly features, all of which are set against the beat of its Funktion One sound system and a backdrop of exposed beams and gilded brick walls.
“Fortune redefines the definition of a club, presenting a variety of events from art openings and film premieres, to fashion shows and after-parties, to live events in all genres,” says Marketing Director Jason Sulyma. “We’re built around the sound by Gman and Rizk, boasting more than 20 years’ experience as promoters, DJs and respected fixtures in Vancouver’s local scene. We’ve created an entity that’s equal parts nightclub, venue, project space, art gallery and community hub.”
Three private rooms—Livestock Room, Karaoke Room and Special Projects Space— can host 30 people, 10 to 15 standing or 90 standing, respectively. The Main Room can accommodate 300 guests standing. Groups can also rent the entire facility and must provide their own caterers.