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Smallwares/Barwares Dives Into Pinball, Unleashes Lil' Wares June 1

Exciting things are happening on the corner of NE 46th and Fremont.


Johanna Ware, chef-owner of Smallwares, as well as behind-the-restaurant offshoot Barwares, and the soon-to-open Lil Wares across the street, is partnering with her new neighbors, the Pinball Outreach Project, for a super-fun pinball happy hour Thursday, May 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. "POP will bring some machines into barwares and into the courtyard of our building," she says. "We will be offering our happy hour menu plus a few more drink and food specials.  We also will be playing movies like Tommy and TILT."

If you're not familiar with POP, it's a non-profit that aims to bring the good, clean, fun of pinball to kids through free play after school at its headquarters (4605 NE Fremont #104), as well as by bringing machines to hospitals, schools and community centers. It also helps raise funds for other organizations like the Children's Cancer Association.

Ware has also announced the opening date of Lil' Wares, her summer spinoff in the old Red Fig cafe space across the street. Lil' Wares will be open for lunch and happy hour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily starting June 1. Happy hour will be from 3 to 5 p.m. And the super-popular Smallwares weekend brunch will move to Lil' Wares, so guests can bask in the summery patio.

The Lil' Wares menu will include 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. Meats will get cooked on the outdoor grill, and there will be a version of the Smallwares kids menu. Drinks will include a daily wine spritzer, mango gin lassis, and strawberry and pink peppercorn vodka slushies.

Ware is kicking off the Lil' Wares opening with an all-offal dinner called "The Fun Bits" on Wednesday, May 27. Seatings are at 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and cost is $50 per person, with drink pairings available for $25. Call the restaurant for reservations. The preliminary menu includes:

  • Sea urchin, cinnamon quinoa cereal, cashew milk
  • Vietnamese salad rolls with a peanut and liver sauce
  • Sweetbread tikka masala, naan
  • Smoked BBQ beef tongue, with macaroni salad dressing, collard green chips
  • Tripe menudo stew, egg yolk, white kimchi
  • Durian mousse

And here's a sneak peek of the Lil' Wares interior:

Smallwares: 4605 NE Fremont St., Portland, 971-229-0995

Lil' Wares: 4537 NE Fremont St., Portland


4605 NE Fremont Street, Portland, OR 97213


25 North Fremont Street, , OR 97227 (503) 206-6421 Visit Website