Image of Violetta courtesy Facebook
Despite the Portland Parks & Rec department's search for a new tenant in its Director Park cafe space, Violetta owner Dwayne Beliakoff says the quick-serve burger joint isn't down for the count yet. In an e-mail correspondence with Eater, Beliakoff says that Violetta has re-applied for the Director Park lease, and is actively seeking sites for further local expansion. "They sent [the renewal application] to me first as we are encouraged to re-up the permit/lease, and obviously it would be easier for them to maintain the space as-is, than to have the cafe go dark rolling into the summer," Beliakoff says. "But the process is the process, and... I have been spending a good amount of time focused on developing new spaces for Violetta."
According to Beliakoff, Violetta has plans for a new location in Southeast Portland, a "mini-version" of the burger concept in Hillsdale, and will maintain its mobile ETTA food truck. Also part of the empire's future plans: a new taco concept dubbed D. S. Tacos, for which Beliakoff is currently in "discussion with other property owners on that deal."
As far as Violetta's future at Director Park, the restaurant will remain open business-as-usual as interested parties submit their applications for the space. Writes Beliakoff:
Going forward, we have a distinct vision of how a Violetta needs to look and operate, and that if nothing else, is a four-season (not two) restaurant with plenty of accessible parking (not just not within a pedestrian path). They will stand alone and not require high overhead auxiliary kitchens (a requirement) such is our current situation. The new spaces are being designed to incorporate kitchens large enough to service our catering and mobile truck needs as well.
We've had fun helping develop the park, but we also know where we want to see the company headed long term. It hasn't been an easy operation and the learning curve was steep for both Violetta and the Parks' staff. I know that this seems like a high-profile matter — but in essence... we need more than 850 square feet for what we do and we are considering this a location matter more than anything.