Updated: Besaw’s restaurant has lost their lease and is closing on May 29th. They hope to reopen late summer 2015. In a Facebook post copied below, owner Cana Flug infers that she plans to reopen Besaws under the same name at another NW Portland location. However, Willamette Week is reporting that the property owner plans to reopen Besaw’s in the same location once the redevelopment has been completed.
Both Flug and C.E. John have filed competing federal trademark claims on the name “Besaw’s,” and these competing claims are part of why lease negotiations halted, says Flug. C.E. John filed for a trademark in January, while Flug filed in March.
I foresee a messy and expensive court battle.
Our Dearest Besaw’s Customers,
As we’ve come to know each other over the last ten years, many of you have become aware of the lease negotiations ever-looming on the horizon at Besaw’s. You are a big part of what makes Besaw’s special, and it is important to us to let you, our family and friends, know the big news directly that Besaw’s, in its current form, will be closing its doors at the end of service on Friday, May 29th. Due to factors beyond our control, the property owners have refused to renew our lease.
In its current iteration alone, Besaw’s has played host to weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, memorials, marriage proposals, and countless other cherished memories and celebrations that have burned an indelible imprint into our little pocket of Northwest Portland. We have been repeatedly humbled at the loyalty, generosity and passion of our fiercely diehard customers, and we are continually amazed and delighted to welcome new faces through our doors. Whether you’ve braved the rain and sleet for forty-five minutes to get a table at Sunday brunch, or sipped a quiet cocktail at the bar on a Tuesday evening, you are, have always been and always will be the reason for our existence.
We love the rich history of Besaw’s as a neighborhood gathering place, and if it were up to us we would stay in this building for another 112 years. We don’t know what the property owner has in mind for this space; at this point we can only control certain things, one of which is our commitment to staying in the neighborhood.
Which brings us to the silver lining! We are already in negotiations on a location nearby, and we expect to reopen by the end of summer. Though bittersweet, the truth is we’ve far outgrown this space, as well as the many duct-tape challenges that come with such an old building: its antiquated electrical system and 250-square foot kitchen (!) along with many other quirks and kinks.
Executive Chef Michael Uhnak and the rest of the management team will be staying on to open our new location, and we are working with other restaurateurs in town to find temporary employment for our 50-plus employees.
We won’t lose what makes Besaw’s special – the food, the people, fresh ingredients, our commitment to local, organic and sustainable farmers, and our passion for social causes and the community. Without you, we are nothing but old wood and paint. With you, we are a strong and boundless community. To our customers, vendors, neighbors, family and friends, we say: THANK YOU. We hope you’ll join us as we take this ol’ lady out for a celebratory spin. Come see us for a meal and a cocktail before we close this chapter on May 29th – the best is yet to come!
Cana & The Besaw’s Team
Matt, Angela, Beth, Kate, Sam, Cheffy & Sauer