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Monday, January 4, 2010

Greek Cusina Closes, Owner Blames City

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 10:44 AM

octo-gone!
  • octo-gone!
Rumors have been floating around for a couple weeks that embattled downtown restaurant Greek Cusina was planning to shutter its doors and today, according to The Oregonian, irascible owner Ted Papas has finally pulled the plug and is putting the iconic purple octopus up on EBay.

The windows of Greek Cusina leave a parting shot at the man Papas blames for his shut-down: "Leonard's Retirement Fund" reads a painted message on the restaurant door, pointing the finger at Commissioner Randy Leonard's Housing Inspection Team. Papas told the Mercury last week that he has paid over $232,000 in fire and safety violation fees since the city started near-constant fire inspections of the building last May.

“How can any business sustain that?” said Papas last week. “At some point, I’m going to run out of cash.” But while Papas blames Leonard's crackdown, it's worth pointing out that over the past decade the owner of Greek Cusina has made himself and his business unpopular in places other than Leonard's office.

Last year, the OLCC threatened to yank Cusina's liquor license after the city fined the restaurant for persistent noise violations. In 2005, a man sued Greek Cusina for $600,000 after three of its security guards allegedly beat him unconscious and, in perhaps Papas' most unpopular moment, the Cusina owner launched a campaign to ban Portland food carts in 2002.

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