Shady Pines Food Court, Portland’s only all-vegan cart pod located in the Cully neighborhood, has closed permanently. The food carts once parked in Shady Pines have either closed or are looking for a new home.
Founded by Fatsquatch owners Lukkah Churchill and Christine Neary – along with owners Ashley and Lindsey Butler – Shady Pines opened with six carts in March 2020, just as the pandemic hit. Even though Portland is known as a vegan destination and for its food cart culture, Shady Pines was the only all-vegan cart community, serving macaroni and cheese, ramen bowls, soft serve and fried chicken all in one batch. , with outdoor picnic. tables and seats inside.
But Shady Pines has struggled with more than just the pandemic, according to its tenants; many pod cart owners have expressed disappointment with the management of the property and the pod’s lack of access to basic amenities, such as lights, heat, and shade for the pod. “When we signed the lease, we were promised a lot,” says Mary Allen, owner of Ramblin’ Rose. “It could really be something special if the owners put in the effort.”
The butlers claim the pod offered a number of amenities, including gray water service, wifi, electricity and outdoor lighting; they also noted that they provide rent relief to tenants through a NAYA grant. “We provided all of the services required by the Multnomah County Health Department to operate a food cart pod. We went above and beyond by establishing a food cart pod location that had amenities like the indoor seating area,” the Butlers wrote in a statement to Eater. Churchill and Neary have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Trying to prevent the pod’s potential closure, Saff Ramen’s Armon Pakdel says cart owners have founded an informal tenants’ union, to defend their collective interests; however, this was not enough to keep the pod afloat. Churchill and Neary finally closed Fatsquatch on October 9, and Butlers took full ownership of Shady Pines. On November 3, the new owners announced that Shady Pines would be closing in 30 days, after being open for less than two years.
Shady Pines tenants say they are overwhelmed with customer support following the announcement. On Instagram, Ashley Craemer and Diandra Totten, owners of SushiLove, write:[We] I cannot quite describe in words what an honor it has been to serve you for 4 years. We felt so connected to this community at that time. With our customers, our employees and with our fellow food business owners.
Some carts, like Dirty Lettuce, moved to new locations before the pods officially closed. Others, however, have chosen to shut down entirely or leave town. Here’s a breakdown of where all the Shady Pines food carts are heading next.
Often dubbed a stoner food cart, Fatsquatch has been a fan favorite of Portland’s vegan scene since its beginnings in Belmont, serving meat-free and gluten-free bites like fried onion rings, fully loaded potato ribbons and cheese oatmeal. Trolley mascot Uncle Squatchy bid farewell to Portland in an Instagram post: “It’s been an amazing six years and we’ve made so many great friends. We are grateful for all the love and support we have received from everyone and we will miss you all. Fatsquatch closed permanently on October 9.
This Los Angeles pop-up landed a spot at Shady Pines when Taylor Solomon and Nathaniel Perales decided to bring their vegan mac and cheese to Portland. The chefs’ specialty is a velvety cheddar-like cheese sauce they spread on pasta shells, dressed with toppings like barbecued jackfruit, buffalo cauliflower and vegan blue cheese. Avocadamama’s last day in Portland was December 3; it will continue to operate in Los Angeles at Smorgasburg and other events.
Better Together — the beverage cart that opened in Shady Pines in July — served beer, wine and soft drinks, as well as baked goods from Shoofly Vegan Bakery. The trolley only operated for a few months before closing in early November. Owner Julianne Schwartz hopes to find a new pod to continue serving drinks and adding snacks to the all-vegan menu. Until then, customers can support cart employees through GoFundMe.
At Ramblin’ Rose, Mary Allen offered soft coconut doughs like classic vanilla-chocolate swirls, botanical soda floats and sundaes with Tume brownies. Allen had just closed for the season when the pod owner announced it was closing. The bright red vintage truck is now parked at General Industry; Allen has yet to decide whether she will operate there or in another module when spring arrives. Until then, Allen will strive to bring his vegan service into small businesses and co-ops.
Armon Pakdel and Zoe Lichlyter started Saff Ramen as a pop-up, combining their Persian and Japanese heritage in their specialty noodle bowl: tonkotsu-style corn ramen laced with saffron threads. Saff Ramen closed its cart at the end of October, but starting December 7, Saff Ramen will appear weekly at SxNW in Mississippi to serve Better Together ramen, onigiri and mochi until it lands a new location. of trolley.
Former Sellwood favorite SushiLove specializes in creative fishless sushi, like the seasonal Autumn Reigns with roasted shiitake mushrooms and mashed ginger sweet potatoes at its Shady Pines truck and Oregon restaurant. City. Ashley Craemer and Diandra Totten served their last inari on November 28. You all really came today,” reads the closing announcement on Instagram. “We will continue to work to try to sell the business so that this is not the end of sushilove.” The SushiLove brand, truck and recipes are available for sale.
• Shaded pines [Instagram]
• What to know about the new all-vegan food cart opening this month [EPDX]