Another Sortis Holdings Company Faces Eviction as Troubles Mount

See See Motor Coffee Co. on Northeast Sandy Boulevard has not paid rent since September, according to a new lawsuit.

See See Motor Coffee Co. on NE Sandy Boulevard. IMAGE: Brian Burk.

Signs of trouble continue to mount for Sortis Holdings, the Portland company that owns a stable of well-known restaurants and other hospitality businesses, including Bamboo Sushi, Water Avenue Coffee, Sizzle Pie, Ava Gene’s, Tusk, Cicoria, Rudy’s Barbershop and the Ace Hotel in Portland.

The latest red flag: an eviction complaint filed Feb. 20 in Multnomah County Circuit Court alleging that See See Motor Coffee Co. LLC has not paid rent at its Sandy Boulevard flagship location since September.

See See’s lease, signed in 2022, is guaranteed by SOHI See See Merger Inc. and was signed by Teddy Albertson, a former Sortis Holdings executive, according to court filings. The lease calls for rent of $4,500 a month, along with maintenance fees and late fees, if applicable. The total amount owed, the lawsuit claims: $21,349.

See See founder Thor Drake acknowledged in an email that See See is behind on its rent and hopes to get the issue resolved.

“As you know, Portland is going through some big changes, and we are trying everything to adapt to fit in,” Drake said. “It has not been an easy go, to say the least. We are, and always have been, a unique type of place for people to come together, and we hope that the Portland community supports that type of place. At the end of the day, we just do our best to be a nice coffee shop and motorcycle type of place, we offer great products and a comfortable atmosphere, but I’d like to think it’s the type of place that made Portland a good place to live.”

The eviction notice for See See, which built a cult following for its combination coffee shop and biker-gear boutique vibe, comes on the heels of bad news earlier this week at Bamboo Sushi, perhaps the flagship operation for Sortis Holdings. The Oregonian reported Feb. 20 that many Bamboo employees did not get their scheduled paychecks last week. A Sortis executive told the daily that the issue was a payroll “error.” Employees have now been paid.

WW reported in January that Sizzle Pie, another Sortis Holdings operation, had allegedly failed to pay rent for its new Concordia location and had also determined it didn’t have the funding to operate its previously announced new store in a newly renovated terminal at Portland International Airport.

Related: Sizzle Pie Facing Headwinds as 2024 Begins

Late last year, WW reported that Sortis Holdings closed a See See Motor Coffee branch in Beaverton, along with a nearby Rudy’s Barbershop.

The company has acknowledged struggles after the collapse of a planned acquisition of the Ace Hotel chain in 2023. (Sortis Holdings owns the Portland Ace Hotel and hoped to add locations in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and other cities.)

Sortis Holdings did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the See See lawsuit.

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