New Seasons' wine bar builds community

While many grocery stores regularly offer wine tastings, the New Seasons Progress Ridge Market takes that up several notches. Its customers can relax over a glass of wine or beer at the cozy wine bar in the heart of the store.

“The wine bar is an innovative concept in the grocery world,” says bartender Kandie Anders. “No other New Seasons has one. It was conceived as part of this store, which is located at the ‘front door’ of Oregon’s premier wine/grape-growing region. It was a logical fit.”

Kandie says the wine/beer bar is much more than a tasting station.

“It has become quite the hangout and destination of choice for many in the Progress, Murray Hill, Bull Mountain and west Beaverton areas,” she says. “It is a neighborhood community builder, and many new relationships have been forged while enjoying a glass of beautiful local wine or beer on tap at our bar. It is a comfortable and inviting space, placed strategically in view of many of the products from local producers, where our customers can’t help but get a sense that bringing local products to the neighborhood is key to what New Seasons is about.”

Though Kandie says her bartending expertise is limited to being passionate about wine and being a good listener, she says sales are “in my blood.” Her grandfather started a shoe store in Salem, which her parents turned into “The Shoe Box.” Her father, Jerry Blum, later founded J. Blum Importing Co. Though he died young, Kandie says many older members of the Jewish community remember him well. She grew up at Temple Beth Sholom.

The sense of community Kandie experienced growing up is one she is pleased to help recreate at New Seasons. She says many women who would not want to go into a bar alone feel comfortable stopping by the wine bar in the middle of a grocery store. The casual atmosphere regularly sparks conversations between people who find out they are neighbors with similar interests.

The four wines and two beers on tap daily vary. Some of the wine on tap is available bottled in the adjoining wine aisles. But sometimes the bar offers a wine that winemakers didn’t have in enough quantity to bottle, so it’s only available in kegs.

“It then becomes something special that we can serve, and you can enjoy until it’s gone and we’re on to the next special thing,” says Kandie. “There are a couple of things our customers can usually bank on, however. Blessed to be within one of the planet’s greatest growing regions for pinot noir, you will always find one of these local beauties on tap.”

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the bar also features wine or beer tastings. Often the winemaker or brewer is on hand to share information regarding the many varietals and blends they make in the wine bar atmosphere.

The bar also offers a cheese and charcuterie menu. And the store has a substantial deli menu and made-to-order salads just steps away. Customers are welcome to enjoy a snack or meal with their drink at tables in the bar area while they relax with friends and family.

Open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 10 pm, and Monday, through Friday, 3 to 10 pm, New Seasons’ wine/beer bar is located at Progress Ridge, 14805 SW Barrows Road, Suite 103, Beaverton.

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