Brunch Box closing: ‘We’re in a pretty bad bind’

Food cart on SW 5th & Stark to close next Wednesday after lunch

The Brunch Box food cart on SW 5th & Stark will close next Wednesday after lunch. April 23, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
The Brunch Box food cart on SW 5th & Stark will close next Wednesday after lunch. April 23, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Over the past six years, Brunch Box has become a food cart staple in downtown Portland. But now the burger and sandwich joint is facing eviction, and the owner said he’s not sure there’s anything he can do about it.

“We’re in a pretty bad bind,” Brunch Box owner Derek Coughlin told KOIN 6 News. “This is where we started, it’s like a child… I put a lot of time in there.”

The food cart’s burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches have gained so much popularity over the years, Coughlin was able to use the earnings to open up his first traditional restaurant in downtown Portland.

“The food that we make is close to my heart,” Coughlin said.

Brunch Box said they'll update customers on a new location via social media. (KOIN 6 News)
Brunch Box said they’ll update customers on a new location via social media. (KOIN 6 News)

But in just a matter of days, the food cart that started it all for Coughlin will shut its windows for good. Coughlin said the landlord — City Center Parking — is evicting Brunch Box for something having to do with a tank.

“This is the valve where we empty our grey water every night,” Coughlin explained.

He told KOIN 6 News he was informed of an employee who somehow disposed of dishwashing or sink water improperly.

“The people who own the lot claim to have video of us breaking the rules, but they won’t show us the video,” Coughlin said. “They claim it’s happened three times in the past couple weeks, but I don’t believe it to be true. We pay someone daily to come in and empty our tank.”

Meanwhile, longtime customers of the downtown food cart disagree with the decision.

“I think it’s awful,” Brunch Box customer Justin May said. “I heard the accusations, I guess, but I would assume they would be given a second chance.”

The food cart employees will be out of the job until a new location is found. A note to customers on their tip jar reads, “Every dollar counts.”

The Brunch Box brick and mortar building will remain open on SW 9th Ave while Coughlin looks for a new food pod. The business has promised customers they will keep them updated via social media.

“It’s looking like, if we figure this out, we’re going to be on the east side somewhere,” Coughlin said.

The Brunch Box food cart on SW 5th & Stark will close next Wednesday after lunch.

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