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Midtown Beer Garden makes its mark on downtown Portland

The redeveloped food cart pod at Southwest Fifth Avenue and Harvey Milk Street is a collaboration between Expensify and ChefStable, which will feature 25 new and returning eateries.

The owner of Shawarma Station hands a customer their food at Midtown Beer Garden food cart pod in downtown Portland.

First responders who stop by Midtown Beer Garden while on duty can get their food reimbursed through New Expensify.

Photo by Nina Johnson

Hopes are high that Midtown Beer Garden can breathe new life into downtown Portland.

The refreshed food cart pod at Southwest Fifth Avenue and Harvey Milk Street is a collaboration between ChefStable, a local restaurant group, and corporate financial management app Expensify, whose headquarters are across the street.

People have enjoyed to-go bites there since the early 1980s, but the block hit tough times during the pandemic. This weekend, it returns as the city’s largest food cart pod, with 20 new and legacy food trucks — five more will move in by the end of August — and beer from Fracture Brewing. Guests can also enjoy amenities like permanent restrooms with daily cleaning, picnic table seating for 300 people, and a fenced perimeter with 24/7 security.

The grand reopening party will be Sunday, Aug. 20, 3-8 p.m., featuring live music from The Last Artful, Dodgr, The Shivas, and Boka Marimba.

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