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More Break-Ins Plague Portland Restaurants As the Onsite Dining Freeze Continues

Plus, a judge rejected the lawsuit filed by the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association regarding the governor’s latest shutdown

Glass is shattered in front of a set of doors at a cafe
The broken doors at Henry Higgins on Foster
Henry Higgins / Official

Henry Higgins, Tropicale, and Rollin Fresh All Hit by Vandals

When the pandemic began, businesses across the Portland area saw an uptick in break-ins, burglaries, and vandalization — people weren’t frequenting restaurants with the same regularity, and many were dealing with more financial insecurity. That increase continues now that dining rooms have shut down once again: Last weekend, someone stole six heaters from Flying Fish Company, and more businesses are reporting similar break-ins across the city. Tropicale owner Alfredo Climaco arrived at his Latin American bar and restaurant at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday to discover the windows and doors smashed; a thief had broken into the restaurant’s neighbor, Rollin Fresh, as well. “The holiday season can be a stressful time and we understand the COVID crisis has had a horrible impact on people’s livelihoods, but that also includes local businesses like us,” reads a post on Tropicale’s Instagram page. Climaco says the restaurant’s laminated glass kept anyone from successfully breaking in, but because of the citywide increase in burglaries, that style of glass is in high demand. Still, Tropicale is continuing to operate, selling takeout orders of cochinita pibil tortas and shrimp taco kits. “It’s a little frustrating, but we’re really positive,” Climaco says. “There are more good people than bad people. I’m really thankful for that.”

The Foster location of local bagel chain Henry Higgins also experienced a break-in that morning; around 5:15 a.m., someone stole the empty cash drawer and point-of-system from the cafe. In response, Henry Higgins gave away eight bags of bagels to anyone in need.

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