The iconic purple octopus that sat atop Greek Cuisina in downtown Portland for more than two decades is up for grabs.
The steel, foam and fabric creature is free -- if you've got a crane. An ad for the octopus appeared Monday in the "free stuff" section of Craigslist.
The octopus moved to Brick's Barber in Southwest Portland after Greek Cuisina closed in 2010. Restaurant owner Ted Papas donated Spoticus to the Portland Rescue Mission, and barber Eric Cavizo purchased it for $2,000. He calls it Spoticus the Octopus.Cavizo moved to a new location about a year ago, he said, and left the octopus behind. He said wonders if the octopus is bad luck. Greek Cuisina closed after the city found 50 fire-code violations, and Cavizo had to move his shop to Tigard after being evicted from his location off Barbur Boulevard. Development bureau staff said neither use of the octopus was legal.
Kareen Perkins, a permit services manager, clarified Monday afternoon that Portland's city code outlaws permanent "balloon signs." In certain areas businesses can display a balloon sign for up to seven days, but no longer. Appealing the sign code generally requires a land use review, she said.
That's bad news for Southeast Grind owner Casey Birch, who said she was prepared to pursue whatever permits might be needed to house the octopus on the roof of her 24-hour coffee shop.
Birch has a "sentimental" soft spot for Spoticus because she hosted parties at Greek Cuisina as a DJ and promoter in 2007 and 2008.
"I came in today and told everybody, 'Stop what you're doing, we have to save the purple octopus,'" she said. She posted a plea for help on Facebook hoping to find someone with a crane.