Beloved by locals and visitors for more than three decades, Portland’s oldest food cart pod recently underwent a complete makeover. Named Midtown Beer Garden, the ½-block area sits on SW 5th Ave between SW Harvey Milk St and SW Oak St in Downtown Portland.
The idea began with Expensify CEO David Barrett. In 2017, Melvin Mark Brokerage Company helped Expensify move its headquarters from San Francisco to Downtown Portland, catty-corner to Midtown Beer Garden. As hardships fell on the city, Barrett watched many of the food carts struggle and wanted to breathe new life into the area.
“All of us at Expensify are huge fans of the food cart culture here, and it was such a shame to see its slow decline over the past few years,” Barrett said. “This revamped experience will remind everyone that the heart of our city still beats strong, and hopefully stoke a renaissance for surrounding businesses as well.”
Melvin Mark’s Peter Andrews assisted Expensify from the beginning of the concept through the lease signing and was able to connect the team with local operators and officials to assist in the project’s success. Peter also led negotiations with landowner Downtown Development Group to help secure the lot for the renovation.
Midtown Beer Garden hosted its grand opening in August 2023.
Midtown Beer Garden features:
- 25 new and legacy carts
- A central beer cart from Fracture Brewing
- A stage for live music
- Seating for 300
- Permanent restrooms
- A fenced perimeter
- 24/7 security