The central city’s first new urban square in decades was unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony last night. The meat between of a lopsided sandwich comprised of the diminutive brick-clad Guild Theater and the uglier side of the 372-foot Fox Tower, Directors Park is the result of a months-long transformation of what used to be a surface parking lot into gazillion stories of underground parking capped by a tree-lined concrete promenade with outdoor seating and a cantilevered timber-and-steel awning to protect us from the winter rain.
So, what’s this have to do with food?
Later this fall Dwayne Beliakoff, ex-owner of the recently shuttered Roux, will debut a new cafe called Violetta. Word has it that it will be something of a European-style bistro with a serious coffee program thanks to Chad Freilino of Seattle’s Caffe Vita. The arrival of Violetta will hopefully address a pair of very important and lacking Portland needs. With the exception of Cacao at the Heathman and Andrea Spella’s eponymous about-to-be-unveiled cafe on 5th Avenue, the Central Business District is an espresso lover’s wasteland. Second, there exists no locale in the entire city where one can enjoy a good cappuccino at a cafe in a public space, a la Paris, Madrid, or Rome.