ROUX COUP: Dwayne Beliakoff—the owner of NoPo's "Northwest-meets-Creole" fine dining establishment Roux—beat out Burgerville to snag one of downtown's most sought-after dining locales: inside the new Park Block taking shape behind the Fox Tower between Southwest Taylor and Yamhill Street. As first reported on wweek.com, Beliakoff says he will open a restaurant named Viola in a jewel-box-sized space in the Southwest corner of the newly christened "Director Park" in April of 2009. The cafe, with outdoor seating for up to 300, will mark the return of the much-missed chef Martha Hubbard—of Zefiro fame—who will helm the cafe's global cuisine inspired kitchen. Don't be surprised if the new joint ends up being compared to the Shake Shack, a popular snack bar tucked neatly inside New York City's Madison Square Park. WW hears that's a source of inspiration.
F IS FOR FASHION:A 111-year-old upscale outdoors outfitter is staking a claim in the Pearl District. Filson, a Seattle-based sportswear company, will open its doors at 526 NW 13th Ave. just in time for the holidays. Only the third apparel store in the brand's long history (the other two are its venerable Seattle store and a newer one in Denver), it's a godsend for the West Hills' flyest fishermen and women. What to expect? Think super-durable men's, women's and dogwear made from signature fabrics like "shelter and tin cloth"—perfect for slogging around Forest Park.
SPOTLIGHT: Pre-production is heating up on a couple of new film projects in PDX. According to the Oregon Film Office, a supernatural thriller directed by former soap star Brett Donowho (Port Charles) called The Disembodied will begin shooting in September in the Portland vicinity. This will be the second time Donowho has done a Portland-based project, in 2005 he produced the feel-good drama The Music Within. And in late September, director Jim Clarke will begin work on Chihuanhas, a film about an animal that's "half Chihuahua and half piranha." The flick is actually being penned by another Portlander, Film Geek writer/director James Westby. Speaking of Westby, it looks like his beloved Tribeca Film Festival indie flick about "the world's greatest living porn director," The Auteur, will finally hit Portland this fall. It's tentatively scheduled to run sometime in November at Cinema 21. It will show just as Westby begins filming his next local project, the sweet-sounding DYKES: The Complete Second Season.
NEW JOY: PDX is back in the tabloids! As noted in Star mag this week, actress Michelle Williams was spotted nestled in the arms of her new beau, director Spike Jonze, at Portland's own Cassidy's. Williams was here for a Northwest Film Center cast-and-crew screening of her Portland-made and Cannes-approved film, Wendy and Lucy, directed by Kelly Reichardt—the talented lady behind Old Joy.