The owner of Portland institution Veritable Quandary is upset about the proposed Multnomah County courthouse which would be located on SW Naito Parkway. The owner is concerned that, because the new building would take over the land that he leases including the the patio and adjacent green space, he would lose the most valuable parts of his business – not to mention the chaos that would be caused by construction. Here is the press release:
Portland, Ore. – On Tuesday, December 16th at 10:00am, Multnomah County Commissioners will discuss the preliminary planning proposal for a new Multnomah County Courthouse, including a preferred site for the new building. The preferred site would have dire consequences for the Veritable Quandary, a downtown Portland restaurant that has been a cornerstone of the city’s dining scene for nearly 44 years.
Operating in Downtown Portland since 1971, the Veritable Quandary serves cuisine inspired by the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, sourcing its menu from area farmers and suppliers and supporting the region’s local food economy. The Veritable Quandary currently employs 75 full and part-time staff and has an annual payroll of over $1.5 million.
In addition to outstanding food and service, the Veritable Quandary has become a dining destination in large part due the beautiful garden surrounding the restaurant’s patio. Veritable Quandary owner Dennis King has put in hundreds of hours creating and maintaining the garden and patio, which the Oregonian has called one of, “the city’s best outdoor dining spots.” A new courthouse on the block would damage the unique outdoor dining experience that Veritable Quandary has cultivated over the past four decades and the noise accompanying multiple years of construction would put the restaurant’s future at risk.
“The Veritable Quandary represents the best of Portland – it celebrates locally produced food, contributes to the city’s economy, and has become a gathering space for the community,” said Denny King, owner of the Veritable Quandary. “The city needs a new courthouse, but there are other sites that are better suited for such a building. The Veritable Quandary is my life’s work and I’d hate to see this be the end of it.”
The County’s preferred site for the new courthouse is the block along SW Naito Parkway that is surrounded by SW Madison St. to the North, SW 1st Ave to the West, and SW Jefferson St. to the South.
County staff have indicated they are moving forward with the site at SW 1st and Madison despite the availability of alternative locations that would have limited impact on local businesses the potential to transform surface parking lots into active public spaces. One such alternative location is the surface parking lot at the corner of SW 1st Ave. and SW Columbia St.
Tuesday, December 16th
Multnomah County Headquarters
501 SE Hawthorne
Portland, OR 97214