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.
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.
Owner, Greek Cusina
404 SW Washington
Portland, OR 97204
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.