The original name that we went with on this venture was "Rock and Roll Chili Pit". That name is dear to us. It keeps Jimmy, our brother-in-law, with us in our dream, where it all began. We lost him to brain cancer in 2008. He was part of the dream of this restaurant. But truth be told; burgers are really our love. Our relationship began with burgers. You see, we; Mark and Robin, met at McDonald's Hamburgers in October 1981. We became instant friends. We've worked together pretty much ever since then.
After our kids were raised we decided to take a chance and follow our dream of running a restaurant together. We, with another couple, opened our first burger restaurant in the Hollywood district of Portland, Oregon. We, Mark and Robin, developed the food, the system, & the environment alongside our adult children. Our business partners remained at their other jobs. We had regular business meetings regarding the finances and other businessy things. But it was us, our family, working the grill, the fryers, the counter, cash register, the lobby, opening and closing, the hiring, the customers, and the many wonderful relationships. We loved every aspect of it. We worked open to close, every day. We were tired. But we were building our dream.
After we opened our eight location, we had a rough, difficult, and ugly separation from our business partners. We found ourselves, with our family, outside of our dream. Our hearts were broken. It took about a year to get things in order and catch our breath. But once we did, we believed we knew what we needed to do; open Rock and Roll Chili Pit. (You can read the details in our previous blog.)
Today, 8 months later, we find that we are focusing on two things in our restaurant; burgers and community. It is now clear to us where our hearts lie. Burgers are what we do. And Portland is where we love to do it. It's like the clouds have been lifted and the path is becoming more clear.
We are changing our name to "Portland Burger". We have no desire to go national, no need to prove anything. We just want to hang out with our family, team, and everyone who comes to see us. We want to make burgers- great burgers.
We don't need to be the best. Actually, we don't believe the best burger exists. Its so subjective. We just want to do what we do with love. And we want to do it right here, in Portland.
So, to be Portland Burger, we promise to make the best burgers we know how to make. We promise to honor Portland by contributing to the things that matter to Portland with our time and resources. We promise to be our best selves when representing Portland to visitors. We will support local kids, teams, causes, and events.
We hope you'll get to know us. We hope we'll make you proud Portland.
Portland Burger (Rock and Roll Chili Pit)
Mark, Robin, Heather, Mike, & Ben