One more reason to love Portland is that it is the future home of quite likely the world’s first Non-Profit Pub, which will be devoted to Oregon craft beer. Named simply the Oregon Public House, this pub aims to benefit the less fortunate while providing you with good beer and food in a cozy atmosphere. The venture is fronted by Ryan Saari, the pastor at the local Oregon Community Church that meets in the ballroom space above the future bar on NE Dekum Ave., only 1 block from Breakside Brewery.
Sketch of future layout of Oregon Public House in the construction space
The Oregon Public House may be the first pub ever to employ a non-profit business model. I say “business model” in the loosest sense, as the profits will be donated to the customer’s choice of charity. The staff will be made up of both volunteers from the church and some paid employees. The OPH will have a family-friendly atmosphere similar to McMenamins that will allow minors until a certain hour and have a separate kids play area. While well on its way to becoming a functional pub, Ryan is soliciting benefactors to invest in the startup and is getting the community involved. Last week they held an open house in the Village Ballroom space and future OPH building, inviting the public to take a look at the space, ask questions, and find out how they could be involved. Mr. Saari’s goal is to open with zero debt and thus able to immediately be beneficial to non-profits without having to pay off the startup costs associated with opening a taphouse. They already have gotten a bar, tables, and chairs donated, and while the space is still very empty, they plan to have it open by the summer.
Founder/Pastor Ryan Saari
I am sure you have many questions, as did I. Below is a video of Ryan Saari talking about his vision, first in a presentation and afterwards a Q and A I did with him in the pub that should answer most questions and provide information on how to get involved.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.
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