Experienced new owners buy Brazilian steakhouse

Kennewick’s Boiada Brazilian Steakhouse will remain open after a seasoned operator bought the unique restaurant from its founders.

Helia Vieira, a 20-year veteran of Fogo de Chao chain of high-end Brazilian restaurants, and his partner, Josiane Ballin, bought Boiada from its founders for $64,000. The deal includes a five-year lease for the 6,000-square-foot restaurant, as well as equipment and furnishings.

Boiada opened in late May at a reported cost of $200,000.

Vieira and Ballin will focus on service and improving the quality of the food.

Originally from Brazil, Viera has decades of experience managing Brazilian steakhouses in California and Washington, most recently in the Puget Sound area.

He joined the Fogo de Chao chain more than 20 years ago and worked his way up to management. He opened the Bellevue restaurant, overseeing all aspects of operations, including hiring and quality control.

A first-time entrepreneur, Viera said he heard about the opportunity in Kennewick and decided it was time to put his skills to work for his own benefit.

Boiada offers a salad bar and tableside meat service.

Diners order from servers who bring skewers of more than a dozen cuts of charcoal-grilled meats to their tables. Visitors can order as much or as little as they wish, signaling their intent by placing cards at the end of the table.

Vieira advises customers to skip breakfast and arrive hungry.

“It’s not a meal. It’s an experience,” he said.

The restaurant sources much of its meat through Sysco, but custom orders lamb from Australia.

Boiada is at 8418 W. Gage Blvd.

Vieira said the restaurant was in danger of closing when he learned it was for sale.

The 182-seat restaurant has room for outdoor dining and a banquet room. Vieira said it’s probably the only eatery in town that can handle a group of 50 on five minute’s notice.

Updated business hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m seven days a week.

Follow the restaurant on Facebook @boiadabraziliangrill.

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