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Bugatti's closes Beaverton restaurant

Coming redevelopment and doubled rent prompts move; other locations remain open

TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Customers read a sign posted in the door on Monday, the day after the Beaverton location closed more quickly than originally planned.When dinner was over on Sunday night, so was the Bugatti’s restaurant in Beaverton's Cedar Hills Crossing.

The closure came more abruptly than originally planned for the longtime restaurant. Bugatti's management already had decided it would not be part of redevelopment occurring at the north end of the shopping center, which will knock down several existing buildings (including Bugatti's at 2905 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd.) and construct a larger retail complex at the corner of Southwest Cedar Hills Boulevard and Jenkins Road.

The new buildings would come with a huge rent increase — approximately double what Bugatti's currently pays — company president Jim Hedlund said.

Hedlund's team originally set April 17 as the restaurant's closing date to give employees a chance to find work, and for customers to get used to the idea as well or perhaps find their way to another Bugatti’s location, including one 15 minutes away in Hillsboro’s Tanasbourne area.

However, in a strong labor market, employees quickly found other jobs, and by late last week, Bugatti’s found itself without enough staff to keep the restaurant open another three weeks, Hedlund said.

The other three Bugatti’s locations, including Oregon City and its original ristorante in West Linn, had openings for a few of the Beaverton staff members, but most had to find jobs outside the company.

Bugatti’s had been in Beaverton for more than a decade and built a loyal customer base, and recent sales had been strong, Hedlund said.

“We have people that come in every day,” he said. “It’s their home away from home.”

Hedlund said the company remains profitable and its other locations are doing well and are signed to long-term leases.

Despite that, the rising lease rates at Cedar Hills Crossing didn’t pencil out for Bugatti’s because it makes nearly its full menu from scratch, requiring additional staff and expense, according to Hedlund.

“The bottom line’s very tight,” he said.

Hedlund’s staff looked at other potential locations in the Beaverton area but haven't found anything that would work for a Bugatti’s, he added.

Editor’s note: Robert B. Pamplin Jr. owns both Bugatti’s and the Pamplin Media Group, parent company of the Beaverton Valley Times.

By Eric Apalategui
Beaverton Reporter
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