After 21 years of running one of Portland’s most beloved, and cheapest, burger joints, Donna Morgan is selling Vivian’s Drive-In. But despite rumors that the Forest Avenue business might be closing, Morgan said it isn’t going anywhere.

And she promises, despite new management, that it should stay the same: tasty burgers (“those burgers are sent from the Gods” proclaimed one Facebook friend of the joint), red hot dogs, no french fries and prices at rock bottom, even for the “Famous Frappes,” which go for $3. “It has worked this long, and they will continue as is,” Morgan said. “Nothing should change.”

She declined to give out any information about the new ownership until an official announcement Monday.

Morgan is the third owner in Vivian’s 63-year history. She purchased it in the spring of 1994, in part because it gave her the flexibility she needed to parent her grammar-school-age daughter (who is now in the Army).

Morgan, who answers to the name Vivian because, well, people call her that, is not retiring, except from flipping burgers (“I have done it long enough”). The thing she’ll miss most is the customers, many of whom she’s watched grow up and return with children of their own. She isn’t sure what she’ll do yet, but likely it will include work with animals. “It is kind of scary and exciting,” Morgan said.

Will she continue to dine at her old restaurant?

“Absolutely!” Morgan said. “I would probably order a double cheeseburger.” That item is $3.50.


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