Chef Johanna Ware, owner of Beaumont Village’s Smallwares and Barwares, is expanding her culinary reach with a temporary, “pop up” restaurant called lil’ wares – slated to open in the former Red Fig space at 4537 N.E. Fremont St., across the street from Ware’s original restaurant and bar.
Ware is sub-letting the space from Adam and Katie Mears, who closed the Red Fig in March.
With the closure of Red Fig and the Bumblekiss restaurant around the corner, neighbors and nearby business owners are speculating about what may be in store for the properties, which share a common owner – The F & E Strange Family Limited Partnership – with two adjacent lots to the west of the property.
The three lots were recently packaged together and placed on the market for $1,845,000. Although there was no deal in place at press time, rumors of an imminent sale are circulating, and Ariel Fauley, owner of Ariel’s Skin Care, has closed her Beaumont shop, located on one of the packaged lots, and has moved her business to a new location at 1730 N.E. 42nd Ave. in Hollywood near Trader Joe’s.
Lil’ wares began limited operations in May, with activities and events planned through at least end of summer. The restaurant will feature a 30-seat patio and be open for lunch and happy hour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Ware opened Smallwares in 2012 after working for some of New York’s best chefs. The menu revolves around small plates that are meant to be shared along with larger dishes of noodles and curry.
“Lil’ wares is a place for me to spread my wings a bit and have some fun,” Ware said. “I want to show people more of the food I like to cook and see how far I can push myself. It will be a fun, laid back summertime place – like a really great barbecue with killer food, drinks and music, but all done in my style.”
Beginning in June, lil’ wares will also open for private parties and events. Ware plans to feature food coming straight off the grill, with familiar but boundary-pushing dishes like avocado toast with sesame chili dressing shiso and a fried egg, General Tso’s sandwiches and the Smallwares cob salad with kimchi Thousand Island dressing.
The restaurant will also offer a version of the Smallwares kids menu. Cocktails will include fun takes on lassis and slushies, with options like mango gin lassis or a strawberry and pink peppercorn vodka slushy. For more information about the pop-up space, visit smallwarespdx.com or call 971- 229-0995.