On Friday, January 26, Foster-Powell food cart pod Portland Mercado reopened more than three weeks after a fire tore through its main building. The indoor space — which housed juice bar Xŏcotl, Barrio beer and wine bar, and an incubator kitchen for small food businesses — is still out of commission, but according to a post on the Mercado’s Instagram page, inspectors gave the food carts the go-ahead to resume business last week. It’s unclear when the main building will reopen.
On Wednesday, January 3, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of “explosions” at the Portland Mercado around 5:30 a.m. According to the Mercado’s website, the fire started in the building’s “market hall,” though its cause is unclear. The extent of the fire forced responders to saw into the roof, extinguishing flames after around 30 minutes. While no one was hurt, the building sustained extensive damage. The carts no longer had access to power or water and thus could not operate. Xŏcotl co-owner Omar Salomon lost all of the shop’s supplies and equipment, and Barrio owner Chris Shimamoto described the bar as “destroyed.”
Hacienda CDC, the nonprofit behind the Mercado, has raised funds for the impacted businesses through the Portland Mercado Fire Relief Fund, which will close Tuesday, January 30. Carts like Fernando’s Alegría, Tierra del Sol, and Tita’s Kitchen have reopened for takeout, though indoor seating remains unavailable until the building’s repairs are complete. According to the Mercado’s Instagram post, the organization will share “opportunities to support rebuilding efforts” in the near future.
The Portland Mercado is located at 7238 SE Foster Road.