Tag: Eastern Cathay

Massive I84 and 82nd Ave Property for Sale

An acre of Commercial Mixed Use real estate at 1411 NE 82nd Avenue recently became available on Montavilla’s northern edge. The lot, adjacent to Interstate 84, is the current home to Eastern Cathay restaurant and is the former birthplace of the Elmer’s Pancake House franchise.

The listing agent, Adrian Chu of Specialty Real Estate Group, is positioning this property as a “developer’s dream.” The parcel sits at the intersection of a freeway, 82nd Avenue, NE Halsey, and the TriMet MAX Light Rail system. The site is underdeveloped, with only a single 4,500-square-foot restaurant building at its center, surrounded by more parking than guests could fill. If redeveloped, residents could quickly travel to any destination from this location with numerous transportation options, and retail on the ground floor would have access to hundreds of daily commuters.

Courtesy Danna brothers and Midcounty Memo

This site was born out of the I-84 expansion, having been leveled during the widening of Sullivan’s Gulch. The 1950’s era civil engineering project required the demolition of the McCarthy & Danna Food Center that had formerly occupied the land over the freeway where NE Halsey connected to NE 82nd Avenue. The store’s operator, Salvatore “Sam” G. Danna, intended to rebuild the grocery store on the remaining property not taken by the freeway project. However, a restaurateur suggested a different use for the vacant lot. In 1960, Danna constructed the first Elmer’s Colonial House of Pancakes restaurant on this site for Walt and Dorothy Elmer. Opening in 1961, this breakfast-focused restaurant began what would become a Northwest business empire spanning multiple states. However, this location closed after the customer base shifted to other areas.

Sanborn Map 1924 showing McCarthy & Danna Food Center location

In October 2008, Rong Liang Mei bought the property and restaurant. Having already started two successful restaurants, the new owner quickly converted this location to Eastern Cathay. The business is available as part of a sale or will shut down after the deal finalizes. At $3 million, this property may stay on the market for a while. However, its size and location make it a tempting acquisition for a developer or government buyer.

Volunteers Clean Around JOIN

Today, 31 volunteers cleaned the blocks surrounding the houseless support organization JOIN PDX at 1435 NE 81st Ave. SOLVE Oregon coordinated the event and provided cleaning supplies. Crews focused their efforts on the neighboring parking lot for Eastern Cathay Restaurant and other nearby streets.

JOIN sponsored this event, with many staff from the host organization joining community members in cleanup efforts. The cleaning event kicked off at 10 AM and ran until 12:30 PM. During that time, volunteers filled dozens of trash bags with litter and gathered piles of discarded car parts. SOLVE-trained staff collected over fifty hypodermic needles and safely disposed of them.

SOLVE event coordinator Peter Brewer said that his organization appreciated the support from JOIN. He recognizes that this section of Portland suffers from intense litter and indicated that his group intends on returning to this location more frequently for future cleanups. Upcoming events will appear on SOLVE’s online calendar.


Images courtesy SOLVE Oregon.

Update: Volunteer count updated from 27 based on final counts from SOLVE.

Disclosure: The author of this article volunteered for this cleanup even.