PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – One of Portland’s oldest restaurants is getting ready to reopen after years of challenges through the pandemic.
Besaw’s has survived since 1903, and now, it’s continuing its legacy into the next chapter.
“Besaw’s is such a staple. I think people have really missed it,” said Derek Green, front of house manager at Besaw’s.
The pandemic brought a lot of changes to the Portland restaurant scene, but there’s a team of people who hope Besaw’s will continue to feel the same as it has for the last century.
Besaw’s owner Cana Flug said she has the help of River Pig’s owner Ramzy Hattar, and Chef Romeo Lopez will be running the kitchen. Portland native Malcolm Skimoff will be the general manager.
“When you take a place that had that intimacy and its vibrancy from its smaller, original location and you translate it into the big leagues, with this large footprint in this restaurant, how do you mimic that intimate nature again?” Skimoff said, explaining one challenge he’s faced in giving the old restaurant new life.
It’s not just the pandemic that’s kept the longtime restaurant closed. Flug has been battling a cancer diagnosis as well.
So, Hattar, Lopez and Skimoff are working to revive the restaurant that’s survived in Northwest Portland for 120 years.
“There’s a lot of pressure that comes with that, but the good thing is it is an established brand. We know what we expect. So, I’m not trying to change the wheel here. There’s a great brand here, a great product here,” Hattar said.
The goal is to open the restaurant by the end of January, but there’s still a lot of work and hiring to do.
Solo Club has been around for even longer than Besaw’s, since the late 1800s, and it will reopen its doors in Northwest Portland in a few weeks as well.