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Urgent: Downtown Restaurant Owners Meeting Tonight at 6 PM

Meeting tonight about banning sidewalk camping by homeless, pushcart and sidewalk permits, parking lot food vendors and more. Let downtown restaurant owners know that they'll lose more business by acting this way then they think they are currently losing to "unfair competition." 6:00 PM, Greek Cusina, Minoan Room, 404 SW Washington St.
I'm going to this meeting to let these restaurant owners know that if they support banning smaller businesses from downtown, I won't patronize their restaurants. I hope people will join me in sending this message. Many of the lunch carts are owned by immigrants trying to make a living and support their families. They provide an affordable lunch alternative for downtown workers. Lunch in many of the restaurants downtown can be $7 or more, while lunch at the carts usually costs $4 - 5.

Renee

Public Notice
From Ted Papas, Owner of Greek Cusina

To All Restaurant Owners:
I invite you to join "F.A.R.E.", Formal Association of Restaurant Entrepreneurs. Next meeting will be held in the Minoan Room of the Greek Cusina on Monday August 5th 2002 at 6:00 PM. The goal of this organiziation is to address issues such as sidewalk camping by homeless, pushcart and sidewalk permits, parking lot food vendors, and more. We will also put an end to politics, favoritism and corruption that exist among some of the self proclaimed "food critics." Constructive criticism by well-intentioned critics is always welcome, but when journalistic power is abused to the extent of "intentionally" trying to harm a restaurant, we have an obligation as an organization to fight back and defend that restaurant. We have an obligation to tell these "wanna-be restaurateurs" that we decide if they have the credentials, the credibility, and are responsible enough to be our reviewers. We have seen landmarks like "Ringside Steakhouse" trashed by A&E and now the newly opened "La Bella Napoli" restaurant trashed by Miss Brooks. I urge you to join F.A.R.E. regardless of the type of review you received, including restaurants that have never been reviewed - MINE for instance. Oh heck, I've only been in business for 26 years. Lets put an end to their manipulative power and unmask these hypocrites with their God-like personas who think they are untouchable.

Ted Papas
Owner, Greek Cusina
404 SW Washington
Portland, OR 97204
503-224-2288
greekcusina.com


Excerpt from the Tribune, 8/2/02, article by Kristina Brenneman

Ted Papas is seeking an ordinance banning full-size food trailers. Sam Adams, the mayor's chief of staff, says the city may review the regulatory code for the largely unencumbered businesses.

Papas said the 14 trailers within a block of his Southwest Washington Street restaurant take away $50 to $100 a day in business without playing by the same rules. By rules he means having to pay thousands of dollars in permit fees, licenses and taxes - as well as $20 per square foot in yearly rent that restaurants pay. One of Papas' tenants, Happy Bowl, also has complained of unfair competition.

"I operate downtown for 26 years and pay $1 million in taxes," he said. "My answer to those food trailer gypsies is, 'Find a spot and play the same game.' I want the city to abolish them completely."

At a meeting scheduled for Monday, he plans to organize about 20 restaurant owners into a formal association to go to City Hall to change the rules.
boycott the greek cusina 05.Aug.2002 11:45

greek food lover

i really like the greek cusina and when i've had money to spare on such things (or someone else is paying) i've really enjoyed the food there. but i will never go there again, and will discourage everyone i know from going there too from now on. this papas guy is a real jerk, imho, whose attitudes show why small-scale capitalism is still Capitalism, and we oughta be working toward alternatives that can put him and his greedy cronies out of business.

Another point... 05.Aug.2002 11:54

I like sidewalks

Many of these restaurants who want to keep the homeless off the sidewalks are the ones hogging the sidewalks with their cute little sidewalk cafes that extend out from their restauraunts.

It's total bullshit--the restaurants and their yuppie clientele can sit on the sidewalk, as long as they are drinking their $7 martinis or whatever, but if someone else wants to plop down, that's supposed to be illegal.

I vote for some direct action at any restaurant that supports a "no-sitting" rule, but has their own sidewalk cafe. If they want to ban people from sitting on the sidewalk, let's do a sit-in on the sidewalk in front of their cafe. It will be interesting to see how the police deal with two groups of people blocking the sidewalk: one sitting there with signs, exercising a little free speech, and one dressed a little nice, and spending some dough...

Absurd and wrong 05.Aug.2002 12:30

Todd

This is totally ridiculous. I hear boycotts coming on! Some of the sidewalk vendors are amazing! Like the team at PSU, the middle eastern food stand, one of the men there was a cook at Al Amir and left when ownership changed hands to open the stand. His food is awesome and cheap! We can't tolerate this strong arming of the homeless and small business providers who actually do the city a service.

Jackasses like Papas... 05.Aug.2002 14:00

Varro

This all started from Caryn Brooks (Willamette Week) and Christina Melander (Tribune) giving La Bella Napoli negative reviews in their respective papers. Not the "some dishes may not be that good," but an outright pan.

Papas believes his restaurant and others should be exempt from criticism that can hurt his business.

He's already been hurt by lunch customers going to the carts instead of his business, particularly in this economic downturn. There's much more variety and value in cart food now, and downtown workers choose them over his place because of that.

What a little dicktater 05.Aug.2002 15:07

count me in

At least this is an issue that can be addressed w/out the cash and power to thwart a megamonster nation.

Ted Papas' letter is FOS in a few respects 05.Aug.2002 15:39

CaptainPlanet

I've enjoyed Greek Cusina on occasion, but have plenty of
reason to warn people off of that restaurant. I have
witnessed unfair billing and horrible service there more
than once.

Regarding his restaurant never being reviewed, he's mis-
representing or deluded. I've noticed reviews several times
in more than one publication.

This guy thinks that the major restaurants should select
what restaurant critics "have the credentials" to be
reviewers? That would be more corrupt than any the system
of food writing possibly has currently. Anyone can be a
food critic, some are listened to more by the public
because they've earned a reputation from their writing.
Critics that give bad reviews to good restaurants eventually
will not be listened to, what's wrong with that system?

"God-like personas who think they are untouchable" sounds
more like the downtown major business owners than the
food critics IMHO.

<:Bri:>

oh! as IF!!! 05.Aug.2002 15:41

cat

as *if* 50 to 100 dollars a day has put a dent in slumlord Papas' business. please! i hear the bells of elitism ringing... did someone mention direct action to answer that call? hmmm. BOYCOTT!

Elitism? Class War! 05.Aug.2002 20:01

Izzy

I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend the meeting called by Mr. Papas. I really hope that someone who did will post the names of the restaurants in attendance - I will definitely not patronize any of them... One commenter mentioned "elitism." How about out-and-out class war? I am rarely downtown - but when I am the carts serve awesomely wonderful healthy (and clean) food for a price that fits my budget - in fact, those meals can often be shared! I can't say any of that for restaurant fare - and yet I doubt that the most of the cooks and servers in restaurants take home any better monetary reward than the vendors (according to one friend who is an experienced cook).

And What About That Goddamned Octopus 05.Aug.2002 21:09

Ouzo Motley

And if you're going to trash Weekend JerkMagnet (part of the Axis of Idiocy that includes Banana Joe's and whatever Moody's is named now) Greek Cusina, might as well strangle SantaPussy as well, that hideous purple octopus floating above 4th and Washington, sometimes bearing a santa cap. Ugh! At least when the Scientology building was there, there was a little balance at that intersection.

I recommend taking the boycott further. Eat at Greek Cusina-just don't pay. On one recent occasion, I found that lunchtime is a great time to skate out the door without paying. The servers just didn't care about me & my companion's bill. They brought the food pretty fast, and it was good (the hummous is great - and at these prices, who can complain?). Rather than fight to pay, we happily walked.

Get off the sidewalks! The public property is already ours... take over privat property instead! Inhabit the greek cusina all evening long, and then, at about midnight, slink right out the door, past the line of well-coiffed coeds. That's America!

hey kids -- color in the octopi and win! 05.Aug.2002 21:35

your lovely and talented host

hey kids -- color in the octopi and win!
hey kids -- color in the octopi and win!

That Goddamned Octopus 05.Aug.2002 22:18

Contestant #1

That Goddamned Octopus
That Goddamned Octopus

how about this one 05.Aug.2002 23:37

feel

.
how about this one
how about this one