Portland restaurants to reopen after pandemic hardships
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The final pieces are coming together for Besaw’s reopening.
“We’re going over it, working hard on it and hopefully today, the menu is going to be up,” Chef Romeo Lopez said.
Like several other Portland restaurants, Besaw’s closed in 2020 and reopened for a stint in 2021, but with so much uncertainty, owner Cana Flug decided to shut down to figure out its future, all on top of dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
“You saw people doing things in their parking lots, to go windows, all these different things,” new General Manager, Malcolm Simkoff, said. “I think when you got to the summertime period and you had that outdoor capability, that was something the business thought they could at least try and champion and use that model to help them get through everything, but it was sustainable and wasn’t fair to the staff.”
Now, with the help of local restaurant owner Ramzy Hattar, Simkoff and Lopez, Besaw’s is making a comeback. They’ll help take the reins while Flug remains the owner.
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“You could never imagine in your life those things that happened with the pandemic and then when she got cancer. That was something we knew her heart was so in this, and she cared so much and wanted to honor what it was, that it was hard for her to think of letting go in a complete way,” Simkoff said.
They’re not planning on changing much about the over-100-year-old establishment except putting an emphasis on dinner.
“We know brunch is always going to be very popular in Portland it was always like gangbusters here in how busy it was but there was a lesser focus on dinner service it seemed at times,” Simkoff said. “There’s these bones and roots for the story and its history but there’s a lot that we can embellish on that and kind of give it a new narrative and change it with its next iteration.”
Chef Lopez also hopes to add some flair to the new menu, while still keeping the classics.
“Add a little kick to it. Let’s add some dishes like huevos rancheros, the most popular one and chilaquiles obviously,” Lopez said.
Besaw’s is expected to open by the end of January with The Solo Club opening in the next few months.
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