Veritable Quandary, that low-slung, one-story restaurant tucked amid the high-rises at the western base of the Hawthorne bridge, has built its 43-year history through a symbiosis with the judges, lawyers, and city council members who work in the courthouse and city hall just blocks away. It's the city's white-collar working man's bar. A place where deals are made over power lunches, expense-account dinners, or stiff post-work drinks. Regulars are so loyal, there are brass plaques inscribed with their names above the bar stools.
But now, the same courthouse set who helped build the restaurant's four-decade history, are aiming to pave over the park-like lot next door in order to erect the new Multnomah County courthouse. The current one is seismically unsafe, as well as woefully outdated.
They're not talking about bulldozing the restaurant, but the expansive garden has always been one of VQ's biggest draws, a green oasis amid the concrete jungle, with a view of the river no less. VQ's owner Dennis King has kept it landscaped and maintained for decades.
Owners, staff, and fans of the restaurant worry that the loss of the garden, in addition to being dwarfed by a multi-story highrise (and all the construction noise that will go along with building it), will be the death of the business. They're hoping people will sign a petition on their Facebook page.
According to KOIN -TV, the city has already drawn up plans for the site. The other location being considered is a parking lot just over a block away. Seems like a better site, right? But here's the crux: building next to VQ would save taxpayers millions because the county already owns the land.
King's camp released a press release yesterday, hoping to stir up enough dissent among city residents to dissuade county officials from chosing the lot next door. The press release says officials are meeting this morning at 10 a.m. at the Multnomah County Headquarters (501 SE Hawthorne) to discuss the proposals. They may make their final decision as early as Thursday.
Which way would you vote?