PDX Real Estate Insider: Three things I’ve heard about Green Zebra, Ristretto and Uncle Sam taking on Great Notion

The three-day weekend has made for a quieter start to the rumor mill this week, but here’s what we’re hearing so far.

Green Zebra looking for green

Local health-minded convenience store company Green Zebra Grocery is up to three Portland locations with a fourth supposedly on the way at Southeast Division Street and Southeast 50th Avenue. (Initial plans for that one called for a late 2017 opening; now it’s looking more like late 2018).

But founder and CEO Lisa Sedlar, the former president at New Seasons, may be putting the company on an even more ambitious path than that.

According to a LinkedIn post from Sedlar earlier this spring, Green Zebra had its best quarter yet at the beginning of this year in terms of sales, margins and labor. Now, the company is looking to grow even more, in part by raising another round of capital.

"Our ideal investor is as innovative as we are," Sedlar wrote in her post seeking new contacts for investment. "They bring money and a digital Rolodex overflowing with certified smart people ready to help us grow."

A message left with the company wasn’t immediately returned, but we’ll keep on it.

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Green Zebra Grocery’s CEO Lisa Sedlar (left) at the opening of the company’s Lloyd District location in 2016. The company is now looking to raise another round of capital for growth.

Brewery bummer

This one might have slipped by on Friday as we were all making a mad dash to get out of town for the long weekend: The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has put the temporary kibosh on local brewery Great Notion’s Northwest Portland operations.

The brewery, which is in the midst of expanding with a second location at 2448 N.W. 28th Ave., announced in a newsletter that the feds are not happy about a "missing wall" in the under-construction location. As a result, Great Notion has had to halt its brewing operations inside the facility, though it can still sell beer from there.

"We are under construction for our new taproom/restaurant and instead (of a wall) have a barbed-wire fence and security guard, but that doesn’t count in their eyes," the company wrote. "Therefore, we cannot brew here right now."

Great Notion does plan on installing the missing wall and will fire up its operations again once that’s approved.

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The feds want Great Notion Brewing to install a proper wall in its Northwest brewery before it can start brewing again.

Coffee closure

There was legitimate buzz when Ristretto Roasters Coffee signed on for some of the retail space in the 1320 Broadway Building back in 2015. That was back before AWS Elemental had decided to take most of the office space in the building, and news of a local coffee roaster moving in was an attractive amenity to play up at the time.

But things change over time, and just over a year after the company began serving up coffee in the building, the operation has closed. No word on why or what might replace it yet.

However, downtown fans of Ristretto need not fret; The coffee roaster’s outpost in the KOIN Tower is still up and running just a few blocks away. (It’s also got locations in North, Northwest and Northeast Portland as well as a popup at the Saturday Market on the weekends.)

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The Ristretto Roasters that had been in the lobby of the 1320 Broadway Building has closed up shop.

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