- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) - Looks like Teresa Estrada will get to sell her clam chowder from a vintage gillnetter, just not near the Bowpicker.

Estrada received approval from the Astoria Planning Commission Tuesday night for a food cart off Industry Street at the Port of Astoria. The site is close to the Astoria Riverwalk and could attract trolley and cruise ship passengers, as well as boaters, fishermen and other visitors to the Port and the Cannery Pier Hotel.

In May, the City Council rejected Estrada’s request to sell chowder from a 1946 gillnet boat on city property next to the Bowpicker, the famous fish and chips spot. The council determined the food cart could pose a conflict with parking for the U.S. Coast Guard, while the owners of the Bowpicker were not exactly enthusiastic about a potential rival next door.

Over the summer and fall, the city also discouraged Estrada from pursuing a location near the Barbey Maritime Center.

“Just from a business development perspective, I think this is a great location for them,” Kevin Cronin, the city’s community development director, said of the Port property off Industry Street.

Estrada had identified the Port as an option, even treating Port commissioners to chowder samples at a meeting in June, while also negotiating with the city.

T’s Astoria Chowder could open in February or March, she said, pending a rental agreement with the Port. The menu will feature clam chowder and bread and could expand to other items.

Estrada described the location near the Columbia River and the Astoria Bridge as a “very nice, picturesque place” for potential customers.

Food carts are popping up across Astoria as part of a burgeoning foodie culture that blends with the city’s reputation for craft beer.

But the city did not make it easy on Estrada, who was frustrated by the City Council’s earlier rejection. The entrepreneur needed Planning Commission approval for the Port property because a food cart is a conditional use on land zoned as general development shorelands.

“We wish her the best of luck,” Dave Pearson, the president of the Planning Commission, said after the unanimous vote. “It looks like a nice location with a lot of pedestrian foot traffic.

“Sometimes it takes time to find the right location.”

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Information from: The Daily Astorian, https://www.dailyastorian.com

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