ROUX TOO? Sad news out of the restaurant world. At least as far as my favorite hangout for Sunday Brunch is concerned—as it truly was the best in town. As for now, it looks like that Roux is no more. As far as I know the much rumored move downtown is not going to happen. Nor the idea that it would open anywhere else for that matter. It looks like Roux is through. Food Dude had it first (only because I've been away from my office since 2 pm today and imbibing in really good cocktails all night) but sadly I must report one of my favorite eateries in town has shuttered its doors on Thursday night. It's sort of weird too, since one of my "sources" called me up during "happy hour" at the new Marriott Courtyard opening party (pics to follow Friday) to let me know something "strange" was going down at Roux. Rather than be a big old gossip like I always am I'd rather let the owner, my friend, Dwayne, explain the "situation."
Greetings Dear Friends,
Not one of my typically long notes here.
Just wanted to inform my friends, personally, that ROUX is closing after service this evening. We hoped to make it through the weekend-- but it isn't possible at this point based on our inventory levels.
We've had a wonderful run of things here in NOPO, but times as they are, we simply can't afford to keep a fancy place like us afloat with a happy hour economy. Many of you understand this from your own operations.
As you know-- I worked on ROUX as far back as 2000, and it is particularly hard for me to see it close. I owe hundreds of people (including most of you) for contributing great talent and support to my dream, and don't regret for a second giving it a go. I do regret how it will impact the lives of my staff in the short term, and what it has done to other personal relationships in the last six months.
But I have a great little fast-slow food cafe, Violetta, opening in the fall, a long over due trip to New Zealand in January with a very special person, and I do ultimately know that good things are ahead for myself, business partner Jud, and wonderful friend and Chef, Martha. It just kind of smarts right now.
So I wish we could have announced this sooner, or that we could have thrown a big fat ROUX party like we'd normally do, but this time we're just going to do things a little more quietly. Instead I'll just listen to the laughter from the bar above my office and think about some really great times.
A special round of applause, please, to Josh, Allison, Scott, Melissa, Michele, & Molly, for making her so special to begin with-- and my current staff for keeping her real. Bravo Krewe, bravo!
Finally, cheers to you all-- and many thanks for all the support. Please let me know if you want any of those delicious recipes-- and come see me this fall at V! Dwayne C. Beliakoff
This is truly one of my faverite spots in town and I, and many others, will miss it.
It's time once again for HGTV's incredibly addictive Design Star. This is the show where "hopeful designers will compete for the ultimate prize: their own design show on HGTV." Season four of this awesome show—which premieres Sunday at 10 pm—takes place in Hollywood. But did you know that one of the contestants is a super hot model who comes from a little town in Oregon I've never even heard of (Vale, Oregon: population 1,976)? I thought it was time we got to know a little bit about this cute dude, who just might be the next big winner, ala Project Runway's Leanne Marshall, of the furnishings world. Here's what the nice guy had to share with me. Shout out to Q-6's Jonny Shultz for making this happen.
Who Is Dan Vickery? I was born and raised on a farm in Eastern Oregon. I had an interesting upbringing for a small town boy. Besides working on the family farm I also spent a lot of my childhood in my mom and grandmother's quilt shop. They designed patterns for quilts, jackets and bags. I wooden tile pattern I created in kindergarten was even used as an inspiration for a wall-hanging and I was featured in a Parents magazine article as one of America's youngest entrepeneurs. I thought my construction skills from the farm and design skills from my mom and grandma would make me well suited as an architect. I got my degree in Architecture from the University of Oregon. I worked for a local builder for 2 years right out of college but soon missed the public hands on design. I went back to bartending, this time at the Portland City Grill, for public interaction and have been doing some of my own design work on the side.
Why Are You On Design Star? Throughout my education at U of Oregon my friends and I all talked about what we would do with our education. I always dreamed of being the next Ty Pennington (without a megaphone!) or Nate Berkus. I relished the idea of reaching a mass of people with design but also the world of possibilities that open up with that kind of recognition. While I was still getting my degree when the first season of Design Star aired I knew that this was my chance. I applied for Season 3 of Design Star and was a semi-finalist. One of the top 30 who flew to LA for live interviews but did not make the top 10 to actually be on the show. This season was as different story. With almost 10,000 applicants this year they must have seen something they didn't see last year because I am a finalist.
How Long Have You Modeled? I started modeling with Mode he summer of 2005 at the suggestion of a friend. I did not enjoy my experience and became affiliated with Q6 soon after.
How Long Have You Been A Designer? I have been a designer my whole life. It is a genetic thing that has grown through education and experience but the desire has always been there.
What Is Your Favorite Color? A bright turquoise or peacock blue.
And Favorite Piece of Furniture? An antique Windsor chair I bought at a yard sale in college for a steal and painted with a red laquer. Not worth anything as an antique anymore but always gets compliments!
Are You Ready to Become a "Reality Star?" A lot of friends and family have seen me on TV and commented already but I had my first recognition by a stranger this week. I bartend at Portland City Grill (we are all back to our normal lives so no one will suspect who won) and a guest asked me if I was the guy they had seen on the HGTV Design Star commercials. It was fun and a little odd to be recognized.
A "Viewing Party" of Design Star's Season Premiere will be held at 9 pm on Sunday at the Rumpus Room, 10555 SE Division St. with plenty of big screens and cheap drinks. Come help Dan kick off the season.
One of the guys, one of the thousand of folks, who showed up in Pioneer Courthouse Square for the supposedly super-secret Dave Chappelle set, said it best when he said "this was the biggest dry hump Portland has ever seen." And at midnight, truly, it was. At 12: 45 am the comedy legend had yet to show up, even though there was anywhere from 5 to 10 thousand fans waiting for him in Pioneer Courthouse Square.They had taken over the entire bowl, plus the wide expanse of empty space, as well as the top of the MAX shelters—and there were at least 50 people sitting on top of the Starbucks sign. Twitters from the likes of dieselboi reported people getting naked. That's when I thought the entire city had just been Ashton Kutchered. But then everything changed. So...after I left (of course) I heard he showed up around 12:50 am. But does it really matter? What really matters is this gathering of several thousand showed me, at least, the power of social media via Twitter and Facebook. This morning it was just a tweet. By midnight it was a mass of thousands. We are in new times my friends. Who knew Mr. Dave Chappelle, whether he showed up or not, would be its messenger. For those who still don't believe he is in town, the blurry photo above of the comic legend taken outside the Heathman Hotel by Ben Sherman of Oregonlive proves one thing: Dave Chappelle is definitely in Portland. And he was definitely at the Square. At least that's what people who stayed around told me via...you guessed it..Facebook. Why he told so many folks he was going to do his stand-up routine in the Square is still a mystery. And then why did he show up really late? It's a really great mystery. Can't wait to hear more via, of course, Facebook and Twitter.
CELEB ALERT: I have received word from a very good source that none other than Dave Chappellehas been spotted in one our fine local restaurants. So, gang, anybody else seen this comic genius? Is he on vacation or is he hiding out somewhere just waiting for his guest spin on "Leverage?" UPDATE: Twitter is blowing up with sightings here. UPDATE TO THAT UPDATE: Supposedly Mr. Dave is playing some super surprise show in Pioneer Courthouse Square at midnight on Tuesday..the plot thickens.
AVENUE Q: The very "official" grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new home for the Q Center took place early Friday evening on Mississippi Avenue under a hot sun and with an even hotter crowd. The community center dedicated to PDX's LGBTQ crew the event garnered more than its share of well-wishers including plenty o' city, county and state officials and, yes, even an appearance by the always gorgeous Storm Large. After opening remarks from the Q Center's Executive Director Kendall Clawson there were more words from the likes of Mayor Sam Adams, City Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish, Secretary of State Kate Brown, County Chair Ted Wheeler, County Commish Jeff Cogen, Legislature Tina Kotek, Q Center board members and other dignitaries. Here are a few photos of those gathered to celebrate the big day.
STREET BEAT: On Saturday it was all about being in the park..and on the streets...and at the markets. First off was a stop at the stellar new St. Johns Farmers Market that not only included plenty of fresh fruits and veggies but also an appearance by members of the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band who laid down a snappy rendition of "Beat It" for market-goers. Across the Columbia River, and down a few miles from the St. Johns area, plenty of gay-friendly folks gathered at Esther Short Park, next to that city's farmers market, for the 15th Annual "Saturday in the Park" pride celebration in support of queer rights. Back on this side of the river, plenty of other friendly folks filled one of North Portland's most happening thoroughfares at the always amazing Mississippi Street Fair. Not only was it a chance to see your neighbors, eat good food and snag great arts and wares, but it was also a chance to see Portland at its best. Frankly, I've never seen so many people fill a street like in Portland that didn't involve a parade permit or an Obama sighting. Man, what a day.
PLAYING GAYMES: Back on Friday night our wonderful friends, Raymond and Troy, invited us for what they call "couples game night." But little did we know we'd being playing a queer version of "The Newlywed Game" and one of our emcees would be none other than the star of the Randy Blue adult movie empire, Chris Rockway. Even though Juan and I have been together a wee bit longer than most of other coupled-up contestants that night, we still got our ass kicked. Oh well, it was still a great night.