Vancouver’s $1.5 billion Waterfront Development Project is about to get wetter – at least in a wine and beer kind of way.
Maryhill Winery has announced it will open a new tasting room on the waterfront in Block 12, next to Twigs Bistro in one of the two restaurant buildings at the site. And Barlow’s Public House, a new local brewery, is also finalizing plans to move to the second floor of one of those buildings, said Barry Cain, president of Gramor Development Inc., which is spearheading the project.
“You’ll be able to walk on the main path and go right by them,” Cain said of the two new offerings next to Twigs Bistro and WildFin American Grill. “You’ll be able to stop and taste the wines, grab a beer and go eat at the restaurants. I think it’ll be another great reason to go down there.”
The tasting room will be the third in Washington for Maryhill Winery, which is based in Goldendale. The company, which has a tasting room at its main winery, opened its first off-site tasting room on Spokane’s waterfront in November 2017, and co-owner Craig Leuthold said he thought Vancouver’s Waterfront Development Project would be a perfect fit for its second such expansion.
“We opened our new tasting room in Spokane in a very similar spot, with mixed use and commercial sites, and it’s been very successful,” Leuthold said. “Vancouver’s kind of on the next scale – with multi-story buildings and more density. We think it’s a great way to present our wines to more people on a year-round basis.”
The Vancouver tasting room will be open year-round, allowing visitors to both try wines and shop.
“We have so many club members in Vancouver,” Leuthold said. “Almost 60 percent of our visitation comes from the Portland and Vancouver area. We looked at the space on the Waterfront and decided it would tie in really well with what we’ve been doing.”
The 4,890-square-foot tasting room will include an expansive patio and indoor space overlooking the waterfront. The facility will also sell small plates of food and have regular entertainment offerings.
Leuthold said he estimates it will cost the winery about $300,000 to $350,000 in tenant improvements before the site is ready, and he hopes to open sometime in December or January.
Maryhill Winery plans to hire about five full-time and five part-time employees for the site starting in October.
Leuthold said he’d also love to partner with restaurants or other businesses at the waterfront as the site continues to grow.
“We’ll want to see if restaurants close by will carry some of the wines on our list, but right now we’re just trying to get open,” Leuthold said. “We’re super excited about it.”
The company is also looking at possibly opening a fourth tasting room in the Puget Sound after the Vancouver site is finished.
Cain agrees that the winery will be a great fit for the waterfront.
“So many of us like wine,” Cain said. “It’s just a nice addition.”
Details on the brewery are not yet available, other than that Barlow’s Public House is planning on leasing a 6,000-square-foot location on the second story of one of the Block 12 restaurant buildings, Cain said.
Opening dates for the Waterfront Project’s restaurants and hotels are still in the works, but Cain said he’s optimistic that many will open in mid-September.
“We’re not going to be opening anything in August, unfortunately,” he said. “It’ll probably be mid-September when we see the grand openings of Twigs and WildFin.”
He added that he expects the new brewery will open sometime in the fall, perhaps in October or November.