Portland's iconic Greek Cusina Restaurant closes down

Credit: KGW

The famous Greek Cusina purple octopus in downtown Portland.


by KGW Staff

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Posted on January 4, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 4 at 2:18 PM

Sad to see Portland's Greek Cusina go?

PORTLAND – The iconic downtown restaurant, Greek Cusina, has closed and the giant, purple octopus will go on the auction block.

Owner Ted Papas was packing the moving van over the weekend.

The closure ends a long battle between Papas and the City of Portland, which had ordered Papas to follow a strict safety agreement after fire safety violations were documented last summer. As part of the agreement, Papas had to hire guards to conduct 24-hour fire safety checks by sweeping the building every 30 minutes.

Papas said he could not afford to pay for the constant fire patrol and ultimately, it forced him out.

After the restaurant was eventually shuttered this past weekend, graffiti appeared on the windows, expressing anger toward Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard's efforts to close the popular restaurant.  The graffiti included messages like "Leonard's retirement fund," "Randyland" and"Randy Leonard is a kook."

Slideshow: See photos of Greek Cusina grafitti

"It was punitive from day one. Punitive to get me out of business," a visibly upset Papas told KGW Monday morning.

The Greek Cusina has been a fixture at 404 SW Washington Street in downtown Portland for 35 years. It ended in style, with a huge New Year’s Eve bash.

Papas said the octopus would be auctioned on eBay Monday and the proceeds donated to the Portland Rescue Mission. The new owner will be responsible for taking it down.

If you want to weigh in on the kgw.com poll: "Sad to see Portland's Greek Cusina go?" click on the poll link at the far right of this page.