#30 Plaid Pantry

It really is difficult to say an entire franchise of rundown mini marts sucks… but that’s the magical uniqueness of Plaid Pantry. These tacky urban landmarks can be seen on street corners throughout Portland. Since it was founded in 1963, generations of Portlanders have walked through the grease-streaked glass doors for a quick snack or Mountain Dew. Now, like rabbits multiplying, hundreds of stores live on your neighborhood street corners sucking the class right out of us.

On the inside, Plaid Pantry represents the epitome of a rundown Quik-E-Mart. They stock their shelves (or sometimes just leave the boxes out in the open) with expired goods and rarely mop the floors. P.P. does provide a large range of unique keepsakes, such as Harley Davidson lighters. And you can always pick up the latest edition of Tattoo magazine. I’m sure you can just imagine the whirlwind of a buying experience. In general, the Plaid offers almost zero incentive to shop here… except maybe for their late night happy hour (late night snack attacks, pre-2:30 am beer runs and cigarettes).

Continuing on, seems that McMenamins and Videorama aren’t the only local businesses to hire terrible customer service reps.* P.P. clerk has always been a nemesis of mine. From pre-2:30 a.m. beer runs, I find this villain to deny people no matter what level of intoxication. You may begin a pleasant conversation on your way to the beer fridge. But at any given moment, the clerk may turn on you, denying any sort of alcoholic beverage based on your ability to physically match your driver’s license photo. Et tu, P.P. clerk?

I can’t think of one good thing to salvage from these rundown mini mart franchises. The feeling of “ick” has been festering at each location. Plaid Pantry… Get in, Get it, Get going!

*Yes, they are a bad example of customer service, but the late night P.P. guy on NW 23rd/Glisan is a peach.

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