Well, looks like rumors of Cartopia's death have been greatly exaggerated—even by this very newspaper.
Cartopia may now be getting a new two-year lease on life, says Potato Champion owner Mike McKinnon.
In May, cart owners at the Cartopia pod—the ur-Eastside pod at Southeast 12th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard that includes Whiffies Fried Pies, Potato Champion, Perriera Creperie, Pyro Pizza, PBJ's and others—were informed by their landlords that their lease would likely not be renewed when it expired in October, and that the lot would be developed as mixed-use apartments.
Well, it looks like they'll be able to stick around after all, according to an e-mail the carts received September 17 from their landlord, Proteus Pension Plan and Trust. "We knew a little after the news broke that the sale hadn't been finalized," Potato Champion owner Mike McKinnon tells WW. "But we didn't know what was going on."
McKinnon has said the carts have received assurances they'll get another two-year lease in the location after their leases expire in October. Pyro Pizza had already expanded into the new Tidbit pod in anticipation of closing thier Hawthorne spot; the Hawthorne location has remained in business, however. The only vendor that left was Bubba Bernie's, who sold their cart to Egyptian spot Tahrir Square.
"Bubba Bernie's is gonna be pissed," says McKinnon. "He'll be howling."
Cartopia will continue its weekend movies through October, at which point the winter tent and heater will go back up for the cold season. McKinnon says that the carts plan to have a sale to celebrate the cart pod's continued existence, but details have not yet been finalized.