PORTLAND, OR – The Brunch Box food cart is getting the boot.
Co-owner Derek Coughlin says they’re getting evicted in 10 days from their longtime location at the parking lot at Southwest 5th Ave. and Stark St., and there’s likely no way to stop it.
“We’re like an institution. The food cart is where we came up,” Coughlin says. “I feel a little helpless right now.”
Brunch Box opened in 2009 as a food cart. In 2013, Coughlin and business partner Ryan Incles opened their storefront location just around the corner at 620 SW 9th Ave. The two locations employ 16 people between them. If the closure does happen, four employees will be losing their jobs and Coughlin said he’ll be losing about one-third of his income.
The path to Brunch Box’s looming eviction starts with grey water. City Center Parking, the outfit that owns the food cart pod, claims to have video footage of a Brunch Box employee improperly disposing of wastewater in the parking lot. It’s that footage that got the cart a pink slip, but City Center won’t produce the video for Coughlin to see and Brunch Box’s cart employees swear it didn’t happen.
Coughlin says it’s been difficult getting answers because he doesn’t lease the space directly from City Center. Coughlin doesn’t own the food cart, a man named Bill Roadman does. Roadman leases the space from City Center and Coughlin subleases from him. So Roadman got the eviction notice, not Coughlin.
“Well, you know, shit flows downhill,” Roadman says. “They wanted me out, so he’s out too.”
Roadman says he approached the lot manager regarding the eviction, but because the lease is month-to-month, City Center can evict any tenant with 30 days notice.
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