Two years ago Westport Winery opened a tasting room at 810 Broadway in Seaside.
On Monday, owner Kim Roberts announced its closing. “Seaside is our second home,” she said. “We loved having a shop in Seaside.”
The tasting room included award-winning wine tastings, artwork, a gift shop, gourmet foods and olive oil and vinegar tasting.
It was the ability to pivot that sustained the family business during the pandemic.
“At our main location we have our still, so we were able to make hand sanitizer as an essential business,” Roberts said. “While COVID was a factor in our decision to close our Seaside tasting room and Seaside Kites, it was not the driving force.”
The family bought Seaside’s Salmonberry Square in 2018 for use as a tasting room, seeking space and visibility in a prominent downtown location.
Driven by Westport Winery’s success, the location quickly became a tourist attraction and a highlight of walking tours.
Westport Winery Seaside received the 2019 Rising Star Award from the Seaside Chamber of Commerce. Westport Winery and the Roberts family was honored with Seattle Business Magazine’s Community Involvement Business of the Year for 2018.
Kim, her husband, Blain, and daughter, Carrie, plan to focus on their Westport Winery Garden Resort, including the International Mermaid Museum and Ocean’s Daughter Distillery tasting room.
The winery’s vacation rental, “Seaside Retreat,” will continue operation by the golf course near the Cove.
For Roberts, the most difficult thing about the Seaside closing will be leaving staff members and an “amazing team.”
“Bethany Uselton and Francis Putulowski operated the tasting room as if it were their own,” she said. “They have been the most fun to work with and have been incredible ambassadors for our brand in Oregon.”