By Jacqueline Valle

The recent resurgence of pride in small-business ownership that’s taking place on Main Street in downtown Springfield makes it the perfect location for a new steakhouse, George + Violet’s.

Ross Arce has always known that he wanted to own and operate his own restaurant. After meeting Andrew Francisco—now his business partner and the restaurant’s chef—he realized they shared the same dream.

“We knew there wasn’t a classic steakhouse in the area, and with all of the incredible grass-fed Oregon beef and beautiful organic produce in the area, we felt we had found a niche that was needed in the local food and restaurant scene,” Arce says. “Andrew wanted to serve local beef with local produce because we are surrounded by amazing ranches and farmers producing world-class ingredients. It didn’t make sense to either of us to look beyond our own backyard for many of those things.”

Francisco also believes in strengthening the community by giving back and supporting local businesses and families, something Arce agrees with. “Not only the farmers and purveyors, but its members and the working-class people [too],” Arce says. “Once we both realized we share both of those same outlooks and values, we knew we’d be a great partnership.”

With Arce’s passion for food and wine coupled with Francisco’s passion for quality ingredients and knowing where your food comes from, their dream became a reality when George + Violet’s, named after Francisco’s children, opened its doors in August 2018.

Their menu boasts fare with a contemporary touch and cooking techniques. “Our current better-selling items include the roasted beets, crispy sweet potatoes, 12-ounce ribeye, 40-day dry-aged steaks, and macaroni and cheese fried pie,” Arce says. “Our chai-spiced doughnut holes seem to be a very popular dessert.”

While the menu transitions with the seasons, Arce notes that currently, his two favorite menu items are the pastrami plate and the pork skirt steak. “All proteins are butchered in-house, and the entire menu is prepared from scratch,” Arce says. “We have expertly crafted cocktails, and the wine is also hand-selected to pair wonderfully with each menu item.”

Arce states that not only are they a mom-and-pop, family-owned business, but they also encourage and welcome all walks of life as well. “We can offer our community a fine-dining experience while catering to their specific needs, be it allergies, financial limitations, or simply personal preference,” he says.

When you pair this welcoming and accommodating experience with Francisco’s flair for serving straightforward, quality ingredients, you find yourself in a warm, community-inspired environment. “We feel as though this is the right neighborhood for us, and we are proud to be a part of it,” Arce says.

As far as plans for the future go, this classic steakhouse has many ambitions for the new year. “We have a lot of work to do to achieve the goals we have set out,” Arce says, “but we do have plans for other locations and other models and concepts in the future.” Some immediate aspirations include adding a small window near the front door of the restaurant and selling merchandise items, such as hot sauce, beef jerky, and burger sauce.

So whether you’re craving a perfectly grilled steak or searching for an ideal date-night locale, George + Violet’s, located in the historic Fry and Rankin building, is the perfect spot.

George + Violet’s Steakhouse

305 Main St., Springfield

Tues-Sat, 5 pm-10 pm; Sun, 11 am-3 pm, 5 pm-9 pm