Portland, OR: OLCC Approves Portland Food Cart Liquor Permit

BY Jaqueline Sit | KGW Reporter

PORTLAND – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has approved a pod of Portland food carts for a liquor license.

“Cartlandia” owner Roger Goldingay applied for a liquor license earlier this year for a beer garden-type area at his lot on SE 82nd Avenue.

The OLCC approved the license for Cartlandia, with certain restrictions regarding operating hours and monitoring.The business owner can appeal the restrictions after six months.

Food cart owners believe selling booze could give their businesses a much needed boost.

“I’m just very happy we’re able to get our license. I think it’s a benefit for our neighborhood and our food cart businesses that’s so important to our economy right now,” Goldingay said. “I’m very grateful the OLCC was able to approve our license despite the opposition of the city, I think it says a lot that the unanimous decision confirmed the quality of our application.”

Mayor Sam Adams called the new development “bad news,” Tweeting Friday that “adding up to 695 new neighborhood … food cart liquor licenses in #PDX” was approved by the OLCC “in principle.” Adams has expressed concern about an over-stretched police and enforcement presence in anticipation of food cart liquor.

Director of License Services Farshad Allahdadi said there must be two employees monitoring service during hours they were permitted to serve liquor, from opening until 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and until 11p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“These restrictions placed go well beyond the basic requirements of a liquor license,” Alladadi said.

City commissioners oppose the idea and asked for more time to set rules for the carts. Commissioner Amanda Fritz expressed frustration with the state agency Friday.

“We asked them (OLCC) to wait until a public process could be conducted and they have not done that,” Fritz said. “They seem to not care about the problems we’re having in neighborhoods and seem to be looking directly at revenue from alcohol sale. Regardless, we have to deal with the problems.”

“Noise, livability and neighborhood safety are significant – we will be looking at legal and legislative options,” Fritz said.

“We feel what we are addressing some of the concerns the city has, and which we share,” Allahdadi said. “Any impacts from the business should be mitigated.”

Two more carts so far have applied for liquor permits, according to city officials.

KGW Reporter Jaqueline Sit contributed to this report