Syndicate Wine Bar
2401 E. Portland Road, Suite A6
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 4-8 pm
Syndicate Wine Bar’s goal is to make wine accessible and enjoyable to everyone, regardless of their background, education, or knowledge of wine. We approach wine from an educational perspective, and provide a safe, inclusive environment in which to learn about and appreciate wines from around the world.
Business Products or Services
Syndicate Wine Bar’s Newberg location offers more than 130 distinct wines from around the world, not just Pinot Noir! We offer a menu of fresh, simple foods designed to pair with our expansive glass pour wines. We also offer a dozen beers, ciders, sake, and soft drinks on draft.
Business Industry Standing
Wine bars are neither full restaurants, nor tasting rooms, nor traditional bars, but somewhere in the middle of all that. We pride ourselves on an educational approach to our carefully curated list of wines and glass pour options, and offer our guests distinct wines they’ve never before tried. We love helping push one’s palate to appreciate a new wine or varietal, and spend time getting to know all of our guests, so we can better serve their individual needs. As an Oregon Benefit Company, we uplift and empower our team, create strong community ties, and do what is right by a higher standard of business ethics.
Since our industry reopened from pandemic limitations, we have seen a great increase in first-time, and walk-in customers that previously did not know about us, or have never visited our other location in Beaverton. Overwhelmingly, guests have told us they love the ambience of our service space, enjoyed all of the wines, loved the foods and how they paired with their wines, and that they will not only return again, but will also tell their friends. Overwhelmingly, reactions have been positive and supportive.
The thought of visiting a wine bar can be confusing, challenging, and even intimidating for those unfamiliar with wine or wine culture. Many first-time visitors to our two locations have asked if we only offer tastes, or if they can purchase a glass or bottle as well. Many who have never visited a wine bar before have told us openly that they weren’t sure what to expect. We place an emphasis on helping correct misconceptions or concerns for all of our guests, and employ a warm approach in our hospitality and conversations with them, to not only alleviate any concerns or address their questions, but also to inspire them to learn about wine and wine culture.
Name Origin Story
A “syndicate” is a group of people united around a common cause. In our case, it’s helping spread the love of great wines to everyone in a fun, inclusive manner. The name itself dates back to a text exchange shared with our consulting colleagues in the summer of 2018, At the time, we were actively consulting with several area wineries to assist with operations, payroll, HR, and technology service needs. After a long day in the field, we would return home and invite each other over for a barbecue, to go over things we had learned about or helped resolve for our clients. One evening, reminded of a comic book reference (“Avengers, assemble!”), we playfully texted to our friends, “Syndicate, unite!” The name stuck, and we began calling ourselves The Syndicate. It went from there.
Starting Up Stories
The story of Syndicate Wine, LLC dba Syndicate Wine Bar, is one full of endless hurdles and challenges. We first began with a location in Beaverton, mid-2019, a city that for 20 years had seen many wine bars come and go, with many folding in less than a year. It surprised many to learn that we wanted to open a wine bar there, but we had heard of the desire by both the City of Beaverton, and many of our area colleagues, to make a go of it and create a successful brand. We spent years studying not only the local market and wine industry as a whole, but also scoping out possible sites. We finally settled on a neighborhood, but finding the right location proved very challenging, as few space were available, or affordable. Months went by but in May 2019, we finally got the keys to our primary location on 1st Street, in historic Old Town Beaverton.
The next set of hurdles involved funding… which is a very common challenge for any startup. Then, to find a general contractor and architect capable of getting our vision brought to reality. Then marketing and brand building, hiring staff… and so forth. By the start of 2020, we were hitting a positive crescendo of growth — only to be stopped in our tracks by the pandemic. Our indoor dining space was overnight converted to a bottle shop, and we rolled out an online menu and local delivery service. It kept us going, until we were able to embrace outdoor dining in June of that year. Our brand rocketed forward, as we created a beautiful and safe outdoor space for guests. This continued into the Fall, and as it turned rainy, we took the plunge into purchasing at our own expense, a very large tent similar to those found in the Dundee-Newberg area tasting rooms and restaurants. We were lucky enough to utilize our parking lot for all of this, but even that had to go away as the City declared an end to outdoor tents effective September 2022. In the time between, we have rebuilt our outdoor space, and are again taking the plunge into a permanent structure in front of our Beaverton building.
Newberg has faced its own challenges. A different community with very different demographic and set of consumer expectations are just a few. What has kept us going and continues to help us is the fact we have a vibrant and thriving wine club of dedicated customers in both locations. It enables us to keep the narrative flowing between the two locations, and continuity with repeat guests who can learn about new wines every month, offered via the club. We’ve added in trivia nights to both locations, and are considering starting up live music once more (which we’d taken a break from this summer). It is a never ending set of challenges, and also opportunities, that rarely gives us business owners any time off or ability to travel. It’s a tough business running a wine bar and brand, but someone’s gotta do it!