Food carts have seemed particularly vulnerable in recent weeks after a well-publicized spree of break-ins, including one particularly ballsy series of break-ins on Northeast Kilingsworth about two blocks away from the North Precinct building.
Now it appears that police have arrested a suspect after multiple break-ins on carts at 1331 N. Killingsworth Street last week—although police report that investigations continue on the other burglaries.
The suspect, Charles Lawrence Johnson, 32, was picked up using cell phone data—after the owners of Chicken Adobo and Pho Dat carts on North Killingsworth alerted police to cell phone tracking data after their iPhone was stolen late Thursday night.
“They didn’t get any cash,” says Olga Surin of Hungaricana food cart at the same North Killingsworth pod, “but that’s apparently what led to the arrest, because they took that iPhone [from Chicken Adobo.]”
Brandie Ma of Chicken Adobo—whose husband Dat Ma owns adjoining Vietnamese cart Pho Dat—says she and her husband tracked the phone after their surveillance camera showed it being stolen Thursday, November 10.
“The police can’t track a phone unless it’s life or death,” Ma says. “We had to keep updating the location and sending it to police.”
They helped police track the phone until Johnson was found early Friday morning, at about 2 or 3 am, Ma says.
Police arrested him on the site of yet another food cart pod, at North Mississippi Avenue and Fremont Street. “He didn’t get anything from our pod except some change and the phone,” Ma says.
Both Chicken Adobo and Pho Dat moved up to the North Killingsworth pod at the beginning of November, citing high rent at the Happy Valley Station pod in Clackamas County.
Johnson was also charged in the burglary of Sherpa Nirvana on still another pod, on Northeast 42nd Avenue.
According to the police press release, Johnson has already been arrested on October 26 for a burglary of Tina’s Corner Restaurant at 5515 Southeast 122nd Avenue.
Portland Police request that anyone with additional info on the burglaries should contact Detective Matt Estes at 503-823-0462, email@example.com.
In the meantime, for anyone looking for a cup from the same Jim and Patty who started Coffee People way back when, there are three locations of Jim and Patty’s—now running under the name of Jim and Patty’s Coffee People, still serving up Black Tiger coffee (now manufactured by Green Mountain Coffee Company).
California coffee is going on a bit of a buying spree, it would seem. Last year, it was the big fish: Peet’s bought Stumptown. This year it’s a medium fish: Los Angeles organic roastery Groundwork Coffee, home to housemade cashew-milk chai latte, bought Portland’s oldest roaster, 42-year-old Kobos Coffee, in March. The same month, a pair of Portland brothers started two locations of Tin Man Coffee, and by July, Groundwork had bought those, too. The beans from the former Kobos roastery will supply the former Tin Man cafes, and Groundwork will also open a roastery cafe on Northwest Vaughn Street. The company has announced plans to open still more locations after these three. The coffee chain currently operates 11 locations in Greater Los Angeles.
Northeast Alberta Street will be getting a coffee shop from Australia—possibly before the year is through. It’ll move in next to the space where 10-year-old punk-rock venue the Know will close later this month. But in a true Portland welcome, the owner of Proud Mary has already had to issue an apology to Portland—before the shop even opened its doors. In May, when coffee blog Sprudge broke the news that the Melbourne-based cafe chain would be coming to Portland, Proud Mary owner Nolan Hirte was quoted in Oz food blog Broadsheet as saying, essentially, he’d decided to come to the forlorn coffee desert of Portland because our service was so awful. This didn’t sit overly well with stateside commenters. In a follow-up interview with Sprudge, Hirte apologized “to anyone who read the article.”
At the end of July, Portland got its first kink-positive cafe—but you can’t get coffee there yet unless you’re already coming in for a sex workshop. The Moonfyre Cafe, on Southeast Foster Road near Powell Boulevard, is dedicated to being a spot where coffee enthusiasts and members of the kink, BDSM and sex-positive communities can meet, learn and have sex. The 18-and-over cafe is planned as having three sections—the coffee shop, an educational space and a dungeon for “play”—and shares a building with Catalyst, a sex-positive resource and event center. The cafe’s founder, Pixie Fyre, has been a professional dominatrix, kink educator and victims’ advocate for years. If you’d like to see how coffee and sex will eventually come together, the cafe is hosting a Coffee and Kink meetup on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1 pm. Admission is free, and guests are invited to “enjoy coffee, tea and a perfectly kinky environment!”
Three months after Remedy Wine Bar announced it was leaving the Pearl District, citing issues with the homeless, Nossa Familia coffee roasters helped open a coffee window in the Pearl—staffed by homeless or at-risk youth. For three years, Nossa had already been conducting barista training at P:ear, a homeless youth mentoring program. The coffee window, which opened in September, was the next step. “So far it’s been really successful,” says P:ear staffer Nathan Engkjer. “We currently have hired two youths who have gone through [the Nossa Familia training]. Our goal is to make as high end a coffee as we can. The two guys are doing a pretty good job.” Should you want to pick up a coffee from the P:ear window, it’s open 8 am to 1 pm weekdays at 338 NW 6th Ave.
Remember back in the old days, when you could go to an open-air farmer’s market-style stand on Hawthorne Boulevard and get fresh fruit from Kruger’s Farm Market and fresh meat and fish from Flying Fish?
Oh wait—you can do that right now. Next year, you probably can’t.
Flying Fish owner Lyf Gildersleeve says he and the Kruger’s Farm stand were told by developer TMT Development that they planned to construct an apartment building where their businesses are currently located—and that Flying Fish would need to be out by the end of the year.
Neither Kruger’s nor TMT Development have responded to requests for comment, but TMT filed an early assistance application with the city in July for a four-story mixed-use apartment complex on the site.
According to the application, the building would have 61 living units, above street-level retail and 23 parking spots.
Kruger’s and Flying Fish have been in the location six and five years, respectively. Before that, it was a fruit stand called Uncle Paul’s.
“Kruger’s bought [Uncle Paul’s] when I rolled into town in my truck,” says Gildersleeve. “It’s kinda funny. My truck was in the D-Street [food cart pod] across from Pok Pok, and that became apartments. And Kruger approached me about going to Hawthorne, which will be apartments.”
Both Flying Fish and Kruger’s still have other locations. Flying Fish has a fish shop and oyster counter inside Providore Fine Foods on Sandy Boulevard, and Kruger’s has its farm stand on Sauvie Island and another city market in St. Johns.
Gildersleeve is upset to have to close on Hawthorne, but wonders whether consolidating to the single location might be a good in the long run.
“Most businesses with two locations, they’re not six minutes from each other,” he says. “I split my customers. It’s a blessing in that I’ll consolidate, and maybe be busy enough at Providore that I can expand the meat and fish.”
Flying Fish on Hawthorne will close after Christmas of this year.
The Cart Burglars have struck again. A burglary spree at North Killingsworth’s Piedmont Station Food Carts marks the sixth food cart pod to be hit by thieves in the past two weeks.
“Everybody’s walking around looking dazed,” says Original Halibut’s food cart owner David Mackay.
Several food carts at the Piedmont food cart pod on Northeast 6th Avenue and Killingsworth Street were broken into or damaged late last night—including PDX Dönerländ, Original Halibuts, Burmasphere, and Ringside Taco—cutting locks, prying open doors and stealing electronics and, in some cases, cash.
Some carts were able to open today, while others were delayed.
PDX Doenerland is again open, as of noon.
The burglary on Killingsworth is only the latest in a rash of food cart pod break-ins.
“It’s a bit of a crime spree,” says Laurent Albouze of beer cart Le Tap, also at the Piedmont pod.
Police have not been able to verify any connections among the string of overnight food cart burglaries, writes police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.
Police did announce today that detectives are investigating the string of burglaries, and report that mostly minor valuables were stolen from the many burgled carts, notwithstanding lost business and the damage done to the carts.
But according to Mackay, a concrete-mounted ATM located at the pod was also emptied.
“They tore out what they could from the ATM machine. They ripped that sucker apart. They were very skilled,” Mackay says. “They’re professionals. There’s not a way you can get at it—it’s surrounded by concrete. These guys—they’re the real deal. It’s pretty brazen to get into a place right across from the [North] precinct.”
The thieves at ripped off the covering to the ATM lockbox before popping the vault.
“It didn’t matter how strong your lock was. They know how to get into carts. They’ve got it down,” says Albouze, who believes his cart escaped being robbed only because its door faced the police precinct. “The ATM—there wasn’t a scratch on t. It looked like they had electronically manipulated it. There were no dents. It looked like somebody left it open.”
The North Precinct is located at 5th and Emerson, about a block away from the pod. The thieves apparently cut their way in through a chainlink fence, and according to Mackay they were able to mostly avoid detection by security cameras.
“There are cameras,” Mackay says. “We can look at ’em, but they’re smart. They’re hiding behind carts. People who had cameras in their carts, they came in and took the machines.”
“We’re all upset,” Mackay says. “It slows down the business, I lost a sale because I didn’t have a register. It affects us a lot. What I’m going through, not having sales…. I had to cancel the telephone. I can’t get into my bank account. Losing sales is like getting robbed. It’s the same thing….All the cart people, we work hard to make this money. ”
He’s worried similar burglaries could happen again.
“I can understand how easy it is. You can get 15-16 businesses in one swoop,” says Mackay. “To have to go through this especially on a Friday—the business lost, much less what they took. And the angst that everybody has.”
“I know the police have bigger problems, but someone could end up getting hurt,” says Albouze. “I guess they’ve got nothing to lose. They’re right across from the police station. That’s pretty brazen… It’s just throwing mud in [the police’s] face. ”
Will Hernandez of the hot dog cart Dog Town says this was the second break-in at the pod this week. The first time, only Garden Monsters was broken into, with thieves taking cash and an iPad. This time, several food carts were victimized, including Scout Beer, Dog Town, Garden Monsters and Tortoise + Hare.
“The stupid thing is that between everybody, I don’t think we lost that much,” Hernandez says. He says the thieves took a flip phone from Hawaiian cart Namu, and at Dog Town, only Halloween candy and $10 in tips were stolen.
“They stole the Reese’s,” Hernandez says. “They didn’t want any Whoppers.”
Hernandez says the biggest inconvenience is that they pried open his door to get in. Because of the break-ins at the Mercado and other pods, tracking down a new food cart door was especially difficult.
He says the break-ins are coming at an especially difficult time for food carts, as they’re currently in their slow season. Yesterday, Tortoise + Hare was closed all day. Hernandez says he lost money by having to close the cart early to go pick up the door.
“It’s frustrating because my neighbors made four times what I did last night,” he says. “It could’ve been worse. I wasted some time and money, but I’ll be all right.”
Nine of the food carts at Carts on Foster were broken into last night, according to manager Steve Woolard. He says that although very little was stolen, the thieves left a trail of ripped-down doors and broken windows.
Woolard says that the thieves used some of Carts on Foster’s own tools, including a crow bar and some screwdrivers, to break in. And whoever the thieves are, they appear to have been content to go home mostly empty handed, since they didn’t even bother to snag his beers.
However, the robbers apparently have a soft spot for the King of Rock and Roll: They stole a collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia from Salon Bucci, which is part of the Carts on Foster pod.
All in all it’s been a rough week for food carts on Foster: Eight of the 10 food carts at Portland Mercado were either vandalized or broken into last Sunday, October 23, which has Woolard wondering if the Mercado vandals are the same people who hit his carts.
Inventory, cash, equipment and personal items were stolen. The total damage is estimated at $25,000, not including the loss in sales many carts will experience.
The Portland Mercado, located on SE 72nd Avenue and Foster Road, is a collective of 19 start-ups that make up the first Latino public market in Portland. It’s also home to a Mexican candy store, indoor grocery store, beer and wine shop and piñateria. They’re a project of Hacienda, a local non-profit community development organization. It’s also home to some of the most delicious arroz mixto and tamales in town.
Portland Mercado has set up an online donation system to support losses, but want to reiterate that more than ever, patronage matters now.
The site list specific ways to support them, including coming in to eat, attending their Dia de Los Muertos Weekend celebration, donating money online or booking your holiday parties with them. They’re also hosting a comedy show at 8 pm tonight.
GO:7238 SE Foster Rd., 477-9945. 10 am-9 pm daily.
If you’re from L.A. or Mexico, “Chalino” means only one thing: Chalino Sanchez, the famed narcocorrido singer who immortalized the tragic and brutal lives of drug dealers and the desperate poor in song, before dying like men in his own songs, with two bullets to the back of his head.
In Portland, it may soon mean elotes and ceviche.
Xico sous chef David Haddow has filed a liquor license with partner Johnny Leach—Momofuku and Stray Dogs alum, and briefly exec chef at Clyde Common —for a new spot called Chalino on the corner of Fremont Street and Williams Avenue, near the New Seasons.
Haddow tells WW he’s not yet making any official announcements about Chalino for a couple more weeks, but his Instagram tells a pretty compelling story already in a series of posts marked “#chalino” in which he shows creamy-topped elotes, grilled chicken, very fancy guacamole, ceviche, sliders, salad and a rich-looking stew or two.
Which is to say, it looks like he’s picking up where he left off. We’ll add more details as they arrive. Here are the pics, all posted here.
Three locations of Heart Pizza are already planned.
His partner will be Matt Lynch, longtime general manager on all of Camden and partner Katie Poppe’s restaurants in Portland. Poppe is not listed as an owner of Heart Pizza in documents filed with the Secretary of State.
According to Lynch, the first location of Heart Pizza will open by Thanksgiving on Gaines Street in the Southwest Waterfront, next door to the new Southwest Waterfront location of Blue Star Donuts.
That location will be quickly followed by a Lloyd Center spot in the new Hassalo on 8th apartment building by the end of the year, near the Lloyd Green Zebra. A West End location on 13th Avenue will follow early next year, where Solestruck shoes used to be.
“We’ve wanted to do pizza since the second Little Big Burger,” says Lynch. “Portland has so so many good restaurants and pizza shops like Ken’s Artisan, Neapolitan pizza places. But they’re all sit-down. Which for me is not how I eat pizza. We’re going to do what we’ve always been doing, get a big fancy oven, make this artisanal thing and dumb it down.”
In this case, dumbing it down means cheap-ish pies and grab-and-go utility—making 10-12-inch personal Neapolitan-style pies and serving them for 10-12 dollars. They’ll also serve salads and bottles of wine and beer to go.
“We’re talking to local wineries, figuring out what we can do,” says Lynch. “We want to serve [wine] at a dollar above cost, make a really good deal so you can have two pizzas and bottle of wine, have a nice night for 30 bucks.”
The pizza spots will have a small number of seats—between 5 and 20 at the various locations—but Lynch imagines Heart as more a spot where you can pop in, grab a pizza and eat it at home or on the go.
In a break from Camden’s usual fried or flat-top fare, Lynch says he’s trying to make the place a bit healthier, with a strong vegetable focus for toppings, in addition to a margherita, slices with “New Yorkish toppings” and a fennel-sausage arugula pie.
In part, the move toward slightly healthier toppings was a personal one for Lynch. “I’ve been eating hamburger, fried chicken and ramen for the past 10 years,” he says.
Lynch also says they’re planning to add a charitable component to Heart Pizza, with plans to donate $1 a pie to charities—ideally leading to donations of between $200 and $600 a day per location.
If you read the Oregonian or watched Fox News over the past couple days, you might be forgiven for thinking Portlanders were really, really angry about cupcakes.
News outlets across the country have been reporting that a tiny, black-owned Portland bakery called Fat Cupcake—with locations in Oregon City and the Woodstock neighborhood—is being blasted with accusations of racism after they made a cupcake called “Mr. President” that contains an Oreo cookie.
But for the record, Fat Cupcake owner Anjelica Hayes—who is herself biracial, with one black and one white parent—says the cupcake’s name had nothing to do with race, or even with President Obama.
“Normally that kind of cupcake, it’s called a tuxedo,” Hayes tells WW. “But we already had one called a Suit and Tie. We thought, ‘What’s a job where you’d wear a fancy suit? Oh… Mr. President!”
Hayes said she never considered the possibility that customers might interpret the Oreo in the cupcake as commentary on President Obama’s racial identity.
To read the reports on Fox News and in the Associated Press, you would believe the Mr. President cupcake had stirred up a firestorm of racially charged protest and outrage.
“A black-owned Oregon bakery is being accused of racism after selling an Oreo cupcake the [sic] named ‘Mr. President,’ Fox News reports. “The Oregonian reported Monday that outraged customers have been blasting the bakery on Yelp criticizing Fat Cupcake for its ‘Mr. President’ treat. The cupcake is described as an Oreo Cookie baked inside white cake with cookies n’ cream buttercream.”
“The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that customers have been leaving Yelp reviews criticizing Fat Cupcake for its “Mr. President” pastry,” reads the story in the Associated Press.
But the Oregonian did not, in fact, report that the bakery was receiving accusations of racism. It was an accusation—singular.
Hayes tells WW the “Mr. President” cupcake had been on the menu at her Oregon City location for around two years without complaints or issue. She says the Yelp review is the first complaint about the name of “Mr. President” she’s ever received.
Multiple people did ask her about the derivation of the name over the years, however. “A couple people asked, and we told them,” says Hayes. “Usually, they’d say, ‘Oh, that’s really neat.'”
Another customer told her that Oreos were in fact President Obama’s favorite cookie—perhaps because the other ones don’t dunk right.
But when she received the feedback in September, Hayes says, she changed the name quickly to avoid any future misunderstanding.
By the time she spoke with the Oregonian, Hayes tells WW, the cupcake had already been renamed “The Professional” for the better part of a month.
The Oregonian’s LizzyAcker points out to WW (disclosure: she was previously our Web Editor) that the name “Mr. President” has not yet disappeared from paper menus (picture here) although it’s been changed on the website and display case.
Hayes received no other complaints about the cupcake since the Yelp review, she says.
We reached out to the Oregonian to see if others besides “Don P.” had complained about the cupcake’s name, and were told that the paper had been alerted to the “Mr. President” cupcake by someone else before the paper saw the Yelp review.
WW could not find evidence there had been any other public protest.
“The Oregonian declared a controversy (racism! politics! oh my!) centered on a local cupcake bakery, Fat Cupcake,” writes blogger Peter Forsyth. “The source for their story? Wait for it…a Yelp reviewer. Not a group of Yelp reviewers…just one. Not even somebody they interviewed and named…just somebody who took a few minutes to hammer out their thoughts on some web site.”
Though no other public protest of the Oreo cupcake seems to have emerged, more and more news outlets are reporting the existence of the critical Yelp review each hour—Us Magazine, most recently—and the bakery’s Yelp page has begun filling with so many out-of-state commenters and strange bedfellows the Fat Cupcake page been declared a construction zone by Yelp’s site administrator.
Sample “review” from Kristen C. in Boston, who seems not to understand that the business owner herself identifies as black: “Not sure why the cowardly owner changed the name of this great cupcake just because militant black liberals threatened her and her business. The Chelsea cupcake was weird because it seemed entitled and fat and tasteless.”
(The Chelsea cupcake doesn’t exist.)
Meanwhile, ever since the national news picked up the Oregonian‘s story, Hayes says she’s received a torrent of e-mails, phone calls and cupcake orders from Portland and elsewhere. Almost all have offered support for the bakery.
“We’ve had tons of e-mails from people across the country, phone calls saying ‘We want to support you.’ People are saying, ‘Why would you change the name [of the cupcake]? Stand strong.’ They gave us a bad Yelp review because we changed the name, bowing down to political correctness.”
Only one caller has been hostile to her bakery so far, Hayes says. Apparently the caller believed Hayes lied about the etymology of her cupcake.
There’s been only one major downside to the distracting amount of attention the bakery received as a result of reporting on the Yelp review, says Hayes. She’s been so busy answering phone calls and e-mails that she hasn’t had time to make a planned donation of cupcakes to the homeless.
For the past two years, Hayes has helped families in need with Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, and she’s also begun a program called Peace of Cake in which she donates cupcakes to houseless people.
“I’m not complaining,” she says, “But normally today would have been the day I was planning on doing that. Maybe on Sunday I’ll get the opportunity—when we’re closed—to donate cupcakes.”
Hayes says she’s looking forward to returning to business as usual.
“I don’t feel frustrated or mad or agitated [by] any media that’s going on,” she says. “Things like this happen. If anything, I’m hoping we’ll be able to go back to what’s important. Obviously, I’m certainly against racism. I hope the attention will go back to how we can serve our community.”