In Our View: Lack of meals cart pod chew out of Portland tradition

Within the grand scheme of issues, it was about greater than meals or enterprise or tourism. The Alder Avenue meals cart pod in downtown Portland over time grew right into a central piece of the area’s tradition.

Now that tradition is being displaced. The pod, which for 20 years has attracted locals and guests to Southwest 10th Avenue and Alder Avenue — subsequent to a long-vacant lot throughout the road from a three-story Goal retailer — is making approach for a high-rise growth. And whereas meals carts are cellular by definition, the transition supplies an fascinating glimpse into the transformation of Portland, together with classes for different cities.

Final yr, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce carried out a research to find out the friendliest cities for operating a cellular restaurant. It’s no shock that Portland was ranked No. 1 primarily based on ease of organising a enterprise and the annual charges. The research additionally discovered that, nationally, meals carts generated $2.7 billion in income in 2017 — up from $650 million a decade prior.

That’s miniscule compared with $799 billion in annual restaurant income, however the improve represents a altering market and Individuals’ willingness to embrace the distinctive choices and zeitgeist of meals carts. As defined: “The perfect a part of a metropolis full of so many handy eateries is that vacationers and locals alike can simply discover tasty meals for each meal of the day. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for waffles, a refreshing drink, or award-winning Thai meals, Portland’s meals truck scene has one thing for everybody.”

The Alder Avenue pod has been an iconic illustration of that scene. Delivering a multicultural expertise within the expanse of 1 block — from Greek meals to Mexican to German to…

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