Ananas Boutique renovations will put the spotlight on music

Heidi McLennon in her soon-to-be-renovated Ananas Boutique on Oak Street. The McLennons’ musical passion is evident in the store’s use of drums as product display elements.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Heidi McLennon in her soon-to-be-renovated Ananas Boutique on Oak Street. The McLennons’ musical passion is evident in the store’s use of drums as product display elements.

There are some renovations happening all over downtown Hood River, from businesses moving locations or expanding, to the construction on Oak and State. A notable store that may be changing its design as well is Ananas Boutique.

Owner Heidi McLennon plans to bring live music to her store, at 206 Oak, and feature a variety of different live performances on what will be downtown’s newest stage.

“I’m hoping we will draw in a new crowd to see our new fun boutique and club experience,” McLennon said.

McLennon and her husband, Steve, own Ananas Boutique in Hood River and Ananas Copa Cabana in The Dalles.

The shop in The Dalles was opened in 2010, while Ananas Boutique was opened in 1991. They are closing down the shop in The Dalles after the lease is up March. McLennon started up the brand by selling her handmade clothes to many little shops around Hawaii when she had lived in Maui.

“I think it will be better because I won’t be competing with myself anymore,” she said, explaining that her preconceived notion going into owning the second store was that customers would go to both stores, but it didn’t work out that way. It was either the store in Hood River was busy and business was slow in The Dalles, or vice-versa.

“It has been very hard because of the Internet and economy,” McLennon said.

“It is hard to be a brick and mortar store these days.” Since the Internet has become huge, many people decide to order their clothes and dresses online instead of the local businesses, she said.

This month, she will start renovations to transform the shop. She plans to make the whole store look and feel more open and build a 5-by-10-foot stage. The stage will be a dressing room during the day and at night it will become a platform for live music.

McLennon plans on bringing the music that was in her shop in The Dalles to Ananas in Hood River. The project is planned to be done in April.

The stage will also be used for band practices and drum line-type events for children. The McLennons are in a band named Samba Hood Rio.

They are also involved in another band, Eleven, which mostly does Brazilian and folk music — which is interesting considering that McLennon was born in Finland. The shop will be the “Rio Samba Headquarters.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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