Owners Jane and Jimmy Sassalos have not sold the Overlook Restaurant, the very old-school Greek diner they have owned and run together for about 40 years.

They have received no offers to buy their restaurant, they say.

But as the Portland Mercury reported today, an Early Assistance application has been filed—anonymously, through permit middleman Faster Permits—by a potential developer, for a five-story apartment complex.

"We have gotten no offer," Overlook co-owner Jimmy Sassalos tells WW today. "If we get an offer, we'll consider it."

So what's this all actually mean?

It means that somebody, tentatively, is interested in maybe building at that property.

If you want to know whether a developer is interested in buying and developing a restaurant property during the current economic climate, all you need to do is look for the parking lot. Does it exist? If the answer is "yes," a developer is interested in building on that property.

The Overlook restaurant has a parking lot.

An early assistance application is not even an offer on the property, however. It's less asking someone out on a date than asking mutual friends if they're scary-crazy.

It is, nonetheless, the very earliest stage of the process of maybe building something, somewhere. The earliest that happens—if this moves forward—is on the time frame of about a year.

The Sassaloses own the property and the business, and they've run it for 37 years together. Both are well into traditional retirement age. Jane Sassalos (under the name "Sassalo" on the Merc's site), has admitted that she might someday want to retire.

We visited the Overlook recently, and found lots of eggs and biscuits and lotto, plus one of the last truly great cigarette machines in Portland.

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