The much-anticipated smash burger restaurant hit the spot!, set to open at Uptown Village, is changing its plan after lease negotiations fell through.
Owner Jeremy Sivers, who signed a lease in September, said that the issues began when the shipping delays caused his oven to be hung up in Brazil for an expected seven months. His grills and refrigerators were also delayed about the same time.
With no equipment to operate, the landlord made an offer for free rent, but a clause in the lease negotiations meant that any late payment could mean eviction immediately, which was too risky for Sivers, he said. He lost about $15,000 from backing out of the lease.
The cost of opening a new restaurant is also a major factor for Sivers, who estimates his new build to cost over $200,000 — before the pandemic, it was about $50,000 to $70,000, he said.
Sivers is still seeking other locations in Vancouver, where he’s determined to open a location.
“We’re on a waiting list for a few good spots in Vancouver,” he said. “We definitely still want to be here.”
Hit the spot! started at a farmers market in Portland in 2014 and became a food truck in 2018 in Portland’s Hollywood neighborhood. It’s now located at 4835 N.E. Sandy Blvd. in Portland, drawing long lines daily, Sivers said.