Photos by Lincoln Barbour
This project was a “remodel lite” of Besaw’s a beloved Portland restaurant that dates back to 1903. It has a rich and fun history including being the first establishment in the state of Oregon to be granted a liquor license.
When we first met with the owner she explained that she wanted to freshen things up, but that we needed to keep in mind that Besaw’s is the kind of place the customers love just the way it is. One anecdote helped us understand just how much they care; the restaurant received notes in the suggestion box for months after having moved the Besaw’s clock to a different wall.
With that in mind, and proceeding with caution, we moved an old pie case out of the entry and added some seating. We chose new paint colors for both the interior and exterior… crisp black trim with a pale buttery yellow for the walls, vintage style ceiling fans, and new finishes and upholstery for the existing furnishings.
It’s hard to tell that anything has changed at Besaw’s… and yet somehow it has a fresh new feeling about it. It should be good to go for another hundred years!