Our Roots.


Mark Byrum

Multi-restaurant Owner and Operator

Mark Byrum is a Northwest native with an innate passion for the hospitality industry. With over 20 years of industry experience and a tireless work ethic, Byrum has garnered a reputation as an expert in concept creation, restaurant management and guest service.

Byrum’s introduction to the hospitality industry came while working for the Red Lion Hotel chain. From first being introduced to the restaurant as a busboy, to working his way to restaurant manager, Byrum soon learned he had talents in the restaurant industry. His love of the industry brought him to Portland where he secured a position with the Pacific Caribbean Hotel group and the Avalon Restaurant. Pacific Caribbean, based in San Francisco introduced Byrum to the San Francisco dining scene. Byrum received extensive menu concept and restaurant management training in San Francisco and Napa Valley. Since then, he has developed a name in the Pacific Northwest restaurant community.

Byrum is a certified sommelier, a member of POVA (Portland Oregon Visitors Association) and the Oregon Restaurant Association. He has been an active participant in the Oregon Pinot Camp for the last three years and in the International Pinot Noir Celebration for four years. He supports many local charities, including the Boost Foundation, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and many local schools.

Kevin Kennedy

Executive Chef

Executive Chef Chef Kevin Kennedy is the executive chef for Urban Fondue, Bartini, Pearl Catering, Brix Tavern, Swank Restaurant and Swine Moonshine + Whiskey Bar. Equally at home preparing Northwest or Asian cuisine, Kennedy has earned a reputation as a resourceful chef with a gift for integrating flavors and cooking techniques from around the globe. He is also a regular cooking instructor and has been featured on numerous cooking shows and made many guest appearances on the chef circuit.

Kennedy’s career began at the age of 14, learning the ropes in a small Italian restaurant. By 16, he had already helped open a restaurant and, soon after, enrolled in a culinary arts program at South Seattle Community College. While continuing his studies, Kennedy found time to help open the Olympic Racquet and Health Club’s restaurant.

After completing his program in the culinary arts, Kennedy moved to Zurich, Switzerland for two years. At that time, he describes himself as “having all the basics from school,” but still needing to “discover my own personal cooking style.” He absorbed the many continental influences in Swiss culture, cultivating an appreciation for cheeses, in particular.

When he returned to the Pacific Northwest, he spent 10 years working at Salishan Lodge in Gleneden Beach, OR, where he began to develop his signature style. There, he began creating unadorned dishes in which the simplicity and purity of fresh, natural ingredients came to the fore. Since leaving Salishan, Kennedy has served as executive chef for The Heathman Group, Captain Whidbey Inn, Sun Mountain Lodge and La Casa Del Zoro.

Kennedy is actively involved in the Portland community and helped organize the local Iron Chef Competition in 2002 and 2003, a benefit which raised over $1.5 million for the Portland Relief Nursery over two years. He has also participated in the Oregon Pinot Noir Camp for three years and the International Pinot Noir Celebration for 12 years. 

Carla Byrum

Marketing Director

Carla Byrum handles all aspects of marketing and promotions. With 12 years of marketing and design experience coupled with over 15 years in the restaurant and service industry, Byrum has a skilled eye at developing a restaurant’s identity. From menu layout to complete marketing plans, Byrum strives to maintain cohesiveness in the many facets of a restaurant’s image. Byrum began her marketing career during the cell phone boom of the 90′s and worked for such companies as AT&T, T-Mobile, Nextel and Sprint. She had to constantly find new and inventive ways of marketing these companies, all the while setting them apart from each other and keeping their branded image. Byrum soon transferred these skills to the competitive restaurant industry. First helping to revitalize Jazz de Opus restaurant through a new menu layout and marketing campaign and then maintaining that image through unique promotions.

Byrum has a Bachelors of Science in Communication, with a special emphasis in marketing and a minor in Psychology.

Michael Gottlieb

Attorney at Law
Law Firm of Michael B Gottlieb PC

Michael Gottlieb’s law firm works closely on Urban Restaurant’s various projects in the role as corporate counsel and advisor to the management team. A seasoned and successful attorney, business executive, and entrepreneur, Michael Gottlieb advises restaurants other business professionals on legal issues related to real estate, corporate governance, administrative compliance, and commercial transactions. More information about Gottlieb is available at www.gottlieb-law.com.

Gottlieb holds a Bachelors of Science with high honors from Portland State University and a Juris Doctorate cum laude from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College, with a certificate in Business Law. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar, Washington State Bar, the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, and a participant in the Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service – Restaurant/OLCC panel.