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Four Portland Starbucks Locations Vote to Unionize

Plus, Nacheaux owner Anthony Brown is headed for Guy’s Grocery Games, and more news

Pedestrians walk past the American multinational chain...
Photo by Xavi Lopez/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Janey Wong is Eater Portland's reporter.

Employees at four Portland Starbucks locations voted to unionize on Tuesday, according to the Oregonian. The coffee shops at Southeast Powell Boulevard and 28th Avenue, West Burnside Street and 23rd Avenue, Northeast Grand Avenue and Lloyd Boulevard, and Southwest Fifth Avenue and Oak Street inside the U.S. Bancorp Tower (also known as Big Pink) are the first Portland locations to vote to form unions, with the latter two locations getting a unanimous vote. The locations announced their intentions to unionize in March.

Following the union vote, workers at Grand and Lloyd and the Jantzen Beach Starbucks locations went on strike Wednesday morning in response to alleged corporate retaliation against unionization efforts, with locations in Eugene and Olympia also going on strike in solidarity. A company spokesperson denied claims of union-busting, and affirmed their commitment to following the National Labor Relations Board process. The local unionization efforts are part of a nationwide unionization wave, with workers at more than 230 Starbucks locations across the country requesting union elections in the past six months. Reporter Kristine de Leon notes that the recent union gains now bring the number of organized company-owned stores to 75 nationwide. Read the initial story here and a follow-up story on the strike here.

Watch Two Portland-Based Chefs on TV

Anthony Brown, co-owner of Mexican-Southern restaurant Nacheaux, will make his television debut on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games. Hosted by television personality Guy Fieri, the forthcoming 30th season of the game show will premiere Wednesday, May 25. On premiere day, Brown will host a watch party at Ale & Cider House at 6 p.m. Nacheaux is currently closed until June as the team relocates to West Linn, and Brown recently opened a sister restaurant focused on wings called Fast Feathers in the Moxy Portland hotel. Brown is not alone: More local representation will come to television screens when Christina McAlvey of Southwest Portland appears on the new PBS show the Great American Recipe. Portland Monthly food editor Katherine Chew Hamilton reports McAlvey will be one of 10 home cooks to compete, highlighting her spin on Filipino cuisine.

Pioneering Brewery Wins Big at World Beer Awards

Widmer Brothers took home a silver medal from the 2022 World Beer Cup this month, winning recognition for the brewery’s Hefeweizen in the American Wheat Beer category. Marking a return since its 2020 cancellation due to the pandemic, this year’s competition was the largest to date, receiving 10,542 entries from 2,493 breweries in 57 countries. Widmer’s Hefeweizen, or Hefe as it is colloquially known, was enshrined in Portland history in 2016, with the city declaring May 15 “Hefe Day.” The brewery recently unveiled a rebrand and launched an updated brewery tour program, according to New School Beer.