PORTLAND, Ore. — Plans to relocate the food carts displaced from Southwest 10th and Alder moved forward, as a fundraiser took place Thursday night.
About two dozen food cart owners reunited at the Redd East Event Space in Southeast Portland. For a $20 ticket, guests could sample food from participating cart owners, while supporting their effort to relocate near Ankeny Square on West Burnside.
“I miss them a lot,” said Sumo Sushi owner Danny Chan of his former food cart neighbors. “It was part of our life.”
In June, Chan and the others learned developers would be building a hotel on the lot they'd been leasing, many of them for years.
RELATED: Portland's Alder Street food carts to move to new home downtown
“It's really hard on a lot of people right now,” Chan said.
The spot near Ankeny Square is on the city’s proposed Green Loop, a 6-mile linear park around Portland's central city, where people can bike and walk.
“I saw the Alder Street food carts and said, we can't displace this treasure,” said Keith Jones, director of Friends of The Green Loop.
Jones said the city would allow the carts near Ankeny Square if they paid for plumbing and electric infrastructure to support them. He estimated it would cost them around $180,000. So far, they've raised about $40,000 through various fundraisers including a GoFundMe account, plus whatever diners contributed on Thursday.
“What's a more public good right now, another luxury hotel or 20 small businesses?” Asked food cart supporter Michael Lupro. “I vote for the 20 small businesses.”
If their plan works, supporters said moving the carts near Ankeny Square would do more than help those displaced from Southwest Alder. In their eyes, it would launch a whole new business model for Portland's food cart scene.
“If we can move food carts onto the Green Loop into the roadway, then they don't have to be on lots anymore,” said Jones, “and those lots are going to be developed more and more, over time.”
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