Besaw’s Vandalized On Last Day of Business
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
When he arrived at the property later that morning, however, John was confronted with an unpleasant surprise.
The exterior’s familiar black and white striped awning had been stripped away, along with the electric “Besaw’s” sign that had been hanging there since 1930. On the front door was a “derogatory” note addressed to “the landlord,” John said.
A photo of the altered building was posted on the Besaw’s restaurant’s Facebook page on Friday, showing Flug and several former employees standing in front of the building, already stripped of its awning and sign.
“That was a Northwest icon, and they didn’t have the right to remove this,” John said Tuesday morning. “The note is directed at the landlord, but, frankly, with the destruction, it’s really directed at the entire Northwest neighborhood.”
The changed exterior was only half of the transformation. Upon unlocking the front door, John discovered the tiles in the entryway that had spelled “1903,” the building’s establishment date, had been chipped out and replaced by other tile. Additionally, the barstools which had been bolted to the floor had been removed, along with all other signage associated with the Besaw’s name – down to a sign in the parking lot.
“I felt a lot of sadness,” John said. “We tried to do what we could do to protect it, but we couldn’t. When somebody decides they’re going to do something like this, there’s not much we can do.”
The building showed no sign of forced entry, leading John to suspect the former tenants had performed the alterations during the turnover period that weekend.
Flug has not yet returned requests for comment from GoLocalPDX.
“This was a slap in the face to everybody,” John said. “Anybody who enjoyed going to Besaw’s, and sitting on those barstools, basically got a big ‘up yours.’”
Flug and C.E. John’s have been in an ongoing trademark battle over the Besaw’s name, with both filing competing applications for ownership of the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year. Additionally, Flug’s Tuatara Enterprises also filed a lawsuit claiming “common law ownership” over the Besaw’s brand in U.S. District Court in Portland in May.
“[Flug] has been aggressively after the name and image of Besaw’s, when it’s very clear in the documents that she doesn’t own it… to the point that somebody felt the need to take everything,” John said. “Nobody can enjoy it anymore. It’s really sad.”
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