PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After 30 years in business, the owners of the Persian House restaurant in downtown Portland say they’re being forced to close at the end of the month over a dispute with their landlord.
The owners of Persian House said this past year has been especially tough due to the pandemic and protests. Their business has been vandalized multiple times, including once when a window was smashed and rioters stole items from inside the restaurant.
The restaurant owners switched to a month-to-month lease due to the circumstances downtown. But when they tried to re-sign the lease for the next 3 years, she said the landlord — the law firm of Parsons, Farnell & Grein — refused to negotiate.
The owners told KOIN 6 News they got a letter of termination from the landlord so they could rent to someone else and charge more.
“Our landlords have decided that they want to choose, that they want money over what is morally right, so they’re kicking us out after 30 years,” said Sara Houranpay with Persian House.
Despite trying to negotiate, they claim the landlord is unwilling to work with them so they are permanently closing on May 31.
“It’s very difficult,” Houranpay said. “My father’s been so sick, you know, over what’s happened in this last year and then this has just been such a big hit to him.”
On Friday, the owners of the restaurant asked customers and other business owners to come down and stand in solidarity with them and told KOIN 6 News it’s heartbreaking to see a minority-owned business be forced to close this way after 30 years.
“I feel as though there needs to be, business needs to be done in good faith and this transaction has not been done in good faith,” Houranpay said. “They’re going to kick him out after 30 years, with truly not a penny in his pocket because everything was invested back into here that someone else is going to benefit from.”
“I’m appalled and beside myself,” Lily Pak told KOIN 6 News. “As a small business owner and also a small business advocate I don’t understand how a landlord can just do that to a small business, especially to someone that’s been here for so long.”
Pak said if Persian House closes, it will be a big loss.
“If these people win out and this business gets closed down, thousands of people in this city are going to miss this restaurant.”
KOIN 6 News has reached out to the landlords at Parsons, Farnell & Grein to find out why they’re terminating the restaurant’s lease but has not heard back at this time.