Besaw’s owner, landlord, reach settlement

The restaurateur will use “Besaw’s” at a different location, while the proprietor will use the name for a mixed-use development.

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The owner of Besaw’s restaurant in Northwest Portland and the owner of the building in which it operated for several decades have reached a settlement regarding their dueling claims to the name.

The agreement: They both get to use the name “Besaw’s” on their respective projects. Cana Flug, the restaurant owner, paid to use the name for her next location in the same neighborhood; C.E. John, the proprietor, will launch a mixed-use development (called Besaw’s) on the adjacent property to the current location.

“We’re happy to get this dispute behind us and focus on what matters: our loyal customers and the next chapter in the history of Besaw’s restaurant,” Flug said in a press release. 

The developer says they will donate all funds paid in the settlement to nonprofit organizations in Northwest Portland.


The resolution ends a legal fight that began when Flug and C.E. John could not come to terms on a lease renewal and subsequently filed competing lawsuits claiming rights to the name.

“With this agreement, we seek to put an end to this dispute while preserving the Besaw’s name for the building,” said James John of C.E. John Co. “We are pleased to honor its history and maintain its connection with the Slabtown neighborhood. To that end, we fully intend to proceed with plans for our investment in the development of the Besaw’s Building which will feature a neighborhood restaurant maintaining a tradition that spans the better part of the last 112 years. Cana Flug has been an excellent operator of the Besaw’s restaurant for the past 10 years and we wish her well in her new location.”

Flug and John finished with a joint statement: “With our agreement, the neighborhood community wins. The Besaw’s Building will get needed improvements including another restaurant to serve the Northwest neighborhood, and the Besaw’s restaurant can live on in a new location.”

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

Flug plans to open Besaw’s in a new location in Northwest Portland by the end of this summer.


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