Writings and observations

greek cucina

www.greekcusina.com

Walk around downtown Portland – especially the central area around 4th Street – and you can’t miss it: A giant purple octopus looming over the sidewalk. By the name of Spoticus.

It portends a restaurant, but not seafood: This is the landmark Greek Cusina, one of Portland’s more visible restaurants, and specializing as indicated in Greek food. We’ve lunched there a time or two. Very atmospheric.

Or was. It has been closed, following a long-running battle with city licensers, and in particular with Commissioner Randy Leonard, whom the Cusina’s owners have accused of a vendetta against them. Leonard (a former firefighter, and as blunt an elected official as you’ll find around the Northwest) simply calls the place “the most dangerous occupancy in the city.”

Seems tailor-made for someone to check out the records and find out . . . are these regulators shutting down a struggling landmark, or a serious safety hazard?

Meantime, the Oregonian reports, Spoticus is up for sale on eBay.

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