Westport Winery gets OK for new tasting room

New site of the Westport Winery in Seaside.

Westport Winery moved ahead with a new retail location in the Salmonberry Square building Monday night.

A winery sales license approved by City Council allows direct sales of beer and wine to consumers.

“We’ve had a commitment to not only the quality of our products, but also responsibility to our public and employees as well,” winemaker and co-owner Dana Roberts said in addressing the council. “We’re incredibly excited to be here.”

The winery, based in Aberdeen, Washington, launched in 2008. Its success led to a satellite tasting room in Cannon Beach, which closed earlier this month.

The Seaside venture brought co-owners Blain and Kim Roberts out of retirement after the sale of a commercial building in Hawaii, Kim Roberts said before the meeting. “It all kind of coalesced in Seaside. We looked in Cannon Beach but couldn’t find anything affordable there. We looked in Seaside and found 810 Broadway. It provided us greater visibility, greater space and parking — the gold standard of retail.”

Seaside’s tourism industry provided a draw, she added. “We’re a year-round business and we really want to be involved in a year-round community.”

The location will replicate the Washington state tasting room, featuring fine wines, a line of oils and vinegars and gourmet food items. The winery will occupy one portion of the building. Three other shops will be available for rent. A parking lot on Oceanway is also owned by the winery.

The two-story, 10,500-square foot Salmonberry Square retail and office building, transferred this month for $868,000, was constructed in 1965 and renovated in 2006, according to county records.

Two full-time employees from the Cannon Beach tasting room, Brian Hammock and Ben Hunter, will continue at the Seaside location.

The upstairs is rented to the nonprofit FosterClub. Kim Roberts said she hopes to team with other nonprofits in the community.

“Our family’s been really devoted to nonprofits in our community here,” she said. “We’ve been able to donate $400,000 to local nonprofits in 10 years.”

In reviewing the floor plan, Seaside Detective Corporal Bill Barnes observed an alcove by the front door in which there is not a clear line of sight for servers to see who is consuming alcoholic beverages. He suggested either eliminating this area for seating or taking precautions such as a security mirror or video surveillance.

“It’s not a disqualifier, but there was concern about it,” Police Chief Dave Ham said.

City councilors unanimously endorsed the application.

“On behalf of the council, I want to welcome you to Seaside,” Mayor Jay Barber said. “Your organization has a great reputation and it’s going to be great to have you on Broadway and see the Salmonberry thriving again.”

The tasting room is scheduled to open with an 11 a.m. Saturday ribbon-cutting.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.