Food cart pods aren’t inspected as closely as food carts, and according to cart owners, it shows

Some food cart owners at the Hawthorne Asylum pod are unhappy with managementaccording to a new story by Willamette Week: Nine current and former pod tenants who spoke with reporter Sophie Peel described issues with overflowing dumpsters, rodents and neglected toilets (with human waste strewn on the floors, according to Willamette Weekthe story of). Property at Hawthorne Asylum told WW that the tenants’ complaints were exaggerated.

But the alternative weekly says the dispute at Hawthorne Asylum is tied to a wider systemic issue with how food cart pods are regulated: while the food carts themselves are assessed by health inspectors of the county and required to follow a strict set of safety protocols, pods themselves have not been subject to inspections or licensing requirements historically. In January 2022, New Multnomah County licensing rules for food cart pods went into effect, requiring pod owners to provide drinking water, garbage, recycling, and pest control. However, according to Willamette Week, many existing pods did not actually apply for a license and evaded law enforcement. The Portland Office of Environmental Services conducts sewage disposal inspections and found Hawthorne Asylum to meet current city sanitation standards. Read the full story here.

Gresham welcomes new food cart and public market

In less awful food cart pod news, East Multnomah County is in the midst of a food cart pod boom, the oregonian reports. Around the time Fairview Food Plaza planted his giant pitchfork sculpture at his entrance, Troutdale Station has opened its food cart pod with a communal bar and indoor seating area. Following: Rockwood Market Hall, a food cart pod and public market are slowly opening in Gresham. Rockwood will house both food vendors and grocery stores, along with a kiddy pool and community plaza. A few vendors have opened in the room, and more are coming.

Oregonians won’t vote on liquor sales at grocery stores this year

The Northwest Grocery Association has took of Initiative Petition 35, his proposed election measure that would allow grocery stores to sell hard liquor. The association says it would not be able to muster the 112,000 valid signatures needed to get the petition through in the November ballot.