A Beloved Cully Brunch Restaurant Crowdfunded Enough Money to Stay Open. They’re Getting Evicted Anyway.

It still might not be the end of Beeswing, though.

(Christine Dong)

After a turbulent few weeks, Cully brunch spot Beeswing is closing after all.

In mid-July, chefs Marissa Lorette and Ian Watson announced that Beeswing's sole investor—who also owns the building—was planning to close the restaurant, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to buy him out. Even after losing half its donations at the last minute due to a technicality—the cafe initially offered donors dollar-for-dollar vouchers, which violates Kickstarter's rules against offering "coupons" as perks—Lorette and Watson still managed to exceed their $70,000 goal.

"I am in awe," Lorette wrote on the campaign's page. "It has been so fun to watch y'all show up and crush this goal."

But yesterday—a week after the campaign ended—Lorette told Eater PDX that her investor, Kevin Dorney, changed his mind about selling the business to her and Watson.

"He ultimately had the power in the situation," Lorette said, "he owned the building and it wasn't profitable enough for him, so he made the call to shut it down."

Neither Lorette nor Dorney responded to requests for comment from WW.

Beeswing opened in 2017 at 4318 NE Cully Blvd., inside a former glass-pipe shop. Dorney—who also owns the bar Moon and Sixpence in the Hollywood neighborhood—bought the building three years prior, and briefly operated out of the space as Tom Cully Cafe. He eventually brought in Lorette and Watson, whose resumés include stints at Clyde Common, Pok Pok and Pix Patisserie, and changed the name. As Beeswing, it quickly became a neighborhood favorite—WW referred to Lorette's biscuits as "a layered high-rise architecture of buttermilk and air" that "tastes like comfort itself."

Related: In a Former Cully Glass-Pipe Shop, Beeswing Cooks Some of the Best Biscuits and Pot Pies in Portland.

Lorette told Eater she was unsure why Dorney backed out of their apparent agreement.

It still might not be the end of Beeswing, though. On Kickstarter today, Lorette and Watson announced their intention to use the money from the campaign to open in a new location, while offering refunds to donors who do not wish to support a different project than the one they backed.

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