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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 8, 2011 11:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Tri-Met MAX video coverup: Why?. The next post in this blog is Composting update. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

There goes yet another one

McCormick & Schmick's is now owned by a Texas-based restaurant chain. Along with the absorption of Rejuvenations by Williams-Sonoma, that's two locally grown outfits gone in less than a week.

Comments (11)

Word is, the folks at Oregon Wilderness Moonsuit Tours are elated over this news.

And bought by Landry's? That's like being bought by Wal-Mart. only without any of the class, dignity, or perks.

Not to worry. Everything's Jake.

What's the deal with the disappointment with locals who sell out? Isn't that they way the game is supposed to be played? Start it, build it, run it successfully, sell it to make big bucks, start over with a new idea?

It seems to me that this was very successful with the Nature's folks...where are those schmucks who bought them out? Where are the Nature's folks (at New Seasons, of course).

Now, maybe M&S will be able to prepare and sell some decent baby-back ribs. It's about time their prices came back into line with reality.

I guess the huge cut backs in conventions/conferences for businesses is putting a serious dent in the restaurant biz.

The food cart mania is also hurting sit-down places, but probably not this more upscale joint.

Re: "...the Nature's folks...where are those schmucks who bought them out?"

godfry,

Taking a walk down memory lane (while Herman Cain denies ever knowing the women who...), Nature's Stan Amy, et al, sold to GNC:

"In August 1996 GNC acquired Nature's Northwest, which sold gourmet and health food products."

Who sold to Wild Oats:

"In April 1999 GNC announced it was ending its experiment with 'wellness' grocery stores. It sold its Nature's Northwest, consisting of six stores located in the Portland, Oregon, area, for $57 million to Wild Oats Markets Inc., a Colorado-based chain of natural foods supermarkets. GNC was also negotiating to provide Wild Oats with a line of private label health supplements."
http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/General-Nutrition-Companies-Inc-company-History.html

Within a decade, Wild Oats was merged with fruit museum Whole Foods (WFM):

"The 13 functioning stores to be sold include 12 former Wild Oats stores and one Whole Foods store. Among the 19 closed stores, all of them Wild Oats outlets, some were shuttered before the merger was concluded and some after, Whole Foods said."
http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/03/06/us-wholefoods-ftc-idUSTRE5253AL20090306

Although the stores changed, the buildings remained with the original owner:

"It looks as though when Nature's sold its stores to Wild Oats, Wild Oats didn't buy the Fremont building -- it got only a lease on it. Just as it didn't get title to the building that housed the old Nature's (converted to Wild Oats) down on Division. And who owns the Division site? It's listed as being owned by something called ADG III LLC, with addresses that again point back to Amy.

A commenter on this blog last night theorized that the reason that the Wild Oats store on Division closed was that its lease was up and ADG was demanding a big rent increase. Yikes! Now that's an interesting tale that I don't remember hearing before. (I don't think daily newspapers like to dig too deeply into grocery store wars... for some reason...)

Anyway, what it all boils down to is that on the Fremont property, Whole Foods may, in effect, be dealing with New Seasons. A little internet sleuthing strengthens that impression. At Amy's address, there's listed a company called New Villages Group, Ltd., and on New Villages' website, New Seasons is shown as an 'affiliated organization.' Meanwhile, the old Nature's site at 24th and Fremont -- more recently a high-end garden store and the graveyard of several noble restaurant experiments -- is listed as being owned by something called ADG II LLC, which corroborates the old Nature's / new New Seasons real property connection."
http://bojack.org/2007/02/wild_oats_whole_foods_and_gues.html

Some of the local cash that originated with Nature's has been recycled in the current popularity contest that passes for a mayoral election:

"Brady’s biggest donations have come in at $10,000: from New Seasons co-founder Stan Amy; and PM Financial Services, a mortgage company owned by Darla and Kali Placencia in the Chicago area, where Brady grew up."
http://wweek.com/portland/article-17968-the_campaign_cash_tr.html

Portland, it would appear, is a grocery store-oriented regional metropolis:

"Apparently the fix is in for a New Seasons or Market of Choice grocery store on SW Fourth Avenue near the real estate development company known as Portland State University. It will be right on the streetcar line. The city subsidies will no doubt run into eight figures. Then Charlie Hales from Camas will tell you that the streetcar made it happen. It's the linchpin, don'tcha know."
http://bojack.org/2011/10/portland_city_halls_next_trium.html

Godfry, you left out the step where you move toVancouver before you sell out, leaving the Oregon income tax on capital gains behind. I think the point is that nothing about these owner changes serves the community.

Gardiner, with your research and knowledge, what is your perspective of PDC/PDOT paying for research, studies to locate stores in so-called Portland food deserts?

It seems that the grocery world around here is vibrant. Then to have taxpayers paying for incentives, subsidies to pick the winners and losers seems disgusting, maybe even illegal.

The second shoe Headline: New McCormick & Schmick's owner to close 12 restaurants

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/2011/11/new-mccormick-schmicks-owner-to.html

Maybe the city should take them over and use them to feed the Occupiers.


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