Beaverton wins two statewide awards!
By Merlin Douglass
It could have been so much worse.
And it would have been – if it hadn’t been for the collaborative efforts of the people who live and work and govern in our community.
The Beaverton Downtown Association along with the City of Beaverton and Lionheart Coffee were honored for that work this past week during the State of Oregon Main Street awards. The BDA and the City were awarded the 2021 Best Civic Partnership award together while Lionheart Coffee was recognized as the 2021 Oregon Business Hero.
We are thrilled to have been recognized along with the City for the work that we do to improve life in downtown Beaverton but we are the first to say that in this, we were not alone. Thanks to the hard work and cooperation of city employees, storefront owners, the community and staff and volunteers of the BDA, Beaverton’s downtown scene is an exciting, clean and safe place for families to visit that we can all enjoy.
An example of that partnership, Open Air Beaverton, allowed businesses to expand their service area into the streets led to the 1st Street Dining Commons. The open air dining space has proved so popular that the city has made the space permanent as of October 15.
Outdoor dining has been tried in many places during the pandemic but the position of the commons in the street between several popular restaurants has captured the imagination in a unique way. The Willamette Week hailed the 1st Street Commons as “one of those rare, glee-filled side effects of the pandemic” in an article it published last November, because it allows patrons to get dishes from some several restaurants at once; a process the article describes as “cavort(ing) from restaurant to restaurant, collecting an assortment of spectacular dishes.” Waiter, I want what he’s having.
But the closed off street with tables isn’t just for customers. The beauty of this space is that it is for everyone. Lauren Reese, co-owner of Lionheart Coffee Company and a driving force behind the Commons, described the space to FOX 12 last year saying, “So the great thing about the outdoor seating is that this isn’t a restaurant, it’s a park.” Being able to see this place less as a commercial requirement and more as a community gathering spot is the sort of attitude that these awards are meant to honor.
This week we’re going to post additional blogs to tell you more about the work that is being recognized by these awards and the exciting and dynamic environment developing throughout downtown Beaverton as a result. Please join us as we look back on a successful year creating the kind of cooperation and contribution that belongs in the heart of every community.