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As crime and vandalism rises, Burgerville temporarily closes in Lents neighborhood

Burgerville's CEO cited deteriorating conditions in the surrounding area as a reason for the closure.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Burgerville on Southeast 92nd and Powell has closed temporarily because of what management describes as deteriorating conditions in the surrounding area, as employees report an increase in crime and vandalism.  

Employees of the fast food restaurant said they have found weapons, drug paraphernalia and human waste on the property. 

"While it saddens me to temporarily close this Burgerville I will always put the safety and security of our employees first," CEO Jill Taylor said in a statement. "There is a humanitarian crisis happening throughout our region and we need to come together around solutions."

KingPins bowling alley, located next door to the Burgerville, was buzzing with activity when KGW went to speak with co-owner Jon Tang about the situation Tuesday afternoon. 

Tang said business is "back to pre-pandemic levels from 2019," and he's excited to see it. What he is not thrilled about are the needles and human waste, among other things, that he finds around his property.

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Credit: Mike Benner, KGW staff
Many of the lanes at KingPins were busy Tuesday afternoon.

Tang believes it's coming from nearby homeless camps. Tang is empathetic, but he is also worried about his business.

"We're not getting any support from the city and it's frustrating 'cause it leaves us business owners on our own," he said.

Mark Medina of the Burgerville Workers Union is concerned about what's happening in the area, but he wonders if that is what's really to blame for the temporary closure.

"In the list of top 10 things workers want to discuss and talk about, this has never been a main concern of anyone," Medina said.

Credit: Mike Benner, KGW staff
This Burgerville sits at the corner of SE 92nd and Powell.

Conditions in the area are a concern for Tang. He is hoping for a resolution sooner rather than later.

"We just need help and need a better, humane way to take care of the homeless," Tang said. "It's inhumane to see the homeless out there in those camps."

KGW has learned all of the employees at the Lents Burgerville will be offered positions at nearby locations during the temporary closure.

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