We are Kevin and Alex, co-owners of OurBar, Washougal residents and hospitality pioneers. Welcome to Main Street!
Washougal is located about 20 miles east of Portland, OR at the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge. With an emerging downtown core, direct access to abundant outdoor activities and local developers dedicated to smart, sustainable growth Washougal is Washington's best kept secret, and it can't be contained much longer.
The growing population of Washougal is comprised of just under 15,000 residents; families, mill workers, brewers and beyond. As entrepreneurs we are drawn to Washougal's strong sense of community and commitment to supporting local businesses.
OurBar is what this town wants, needs and deserves.
The OurBar concept is local, sustainable, delicious. Our open kitchen design, visible from both dining room and street, invites customers to see firsthand how their food is made. Connecting the people to the product while providing friendly, informative service is our main goal.
We create food that tells a story. Family recipes, revisited and reimagined.
We chose to use a wishbone as our logo because it represents a cherished mealtime tradition. Our food and drink will evoke similar memories; a favorite meatloaf, first fresh doughnut experience or a sip of beer reminiscent of warm nights around the campfire.
Just three blocks away from OurBar, there is a small house sitting on about 1/3 of an acre. This is OurFarm.
We planned, dug and measured all winter. Now, as the Spring sun starts to shine, the land is ready to be put to work. We are cultivating all fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed. Inside is a homemade seed propagation room and outside we are using cold frames and cloches (small, hoop-houses). OurFarm is bio-intensive and permaculture focused. By this summer we will be wheeling crates full of delicious farm-fresh produce straight to OurBar.
Kevin is what we like to call, The Beerista. A perfect balance of beer and coffee connoisseur together in one bearded host! Kevin is a self-taught cook and has managed kitchens in California, Boulder and Portland. Having grown up working in the California BBQ culture, Kevin brings his own knowledgeable and relaxed service style to the OurBar team.
Alex, Chef of OurBar and family fruit bat, is an established kitchen veteran and lifelong lover of food. Her first strawberry, plucked fresh from the garden, has inspired a career of creativity, generosity and precision. A graduate of Oregon Culinary Institute, Alex continues to pursue her education through daily practice and in the pages of an extensive cookbook collection.
Brendan, proven chef and natural green thumb, is joining the OurBar team as both cook and Farmer. As steward to the soon-to-be-budding Our Farm, located just three blocks away on Main Street, Brendan will be growing many of the fruits, veggies, flowers and herbs used in the restaurant.
We are coming together through a decade of friendship and a shared passion for nourishing people through food, drink and conversation.
Starting a restaurant, just like any business venture or project, takes time, energy and a whole village of support. By donating to our Kickstarter, you will play a crucial role in that support system.
Your generous donation provides us with the funding to purchase:
- Appropriate glassware for the bar
- Pots, pans and equipment needed to run our busy little kitchen
- Artwork (maps and vintage prints of Columbia Gorge pioneers)
- Seed trays / mats, pots, hand tools, shovels, heat lamps (for year-round production of greens) and dwarf fruit tree root stock to start our mini orchard
As OurFarm is still growing its roots, the success of our Kickstarter will also provide us with the ability to fill our fridges and shelves with all the delicious and diverse bounty of the Columbia Gorge region.
Produce straight from the farm to your belly.
Beer, wine and coffee procured from other small businesses like us.
In the past two weeks, friends and family from near and far have come to lend a hand. With their hard work and contributions we were able to build all of our tables, counters and bar out of reclaimed wood from an architectural salvage yard in Aurora, OR.
After a year of market research, recipe testing, paperwork and construction OurBar is set to open its doors to the public in April.
OurBar in the News.
Check out what the local papers and blogs are saying.
Risks and challenges
Over the past year we have faced and overcome many challenges. Opening a restaurant is always a risk and the lack of access to traditional funding, such as bank loans, has encouraged us to think creatively about how to raise money. We use grassroots networking tactics, crowd-sourced funding sites (like Kickstarter and Kiva Zip), a micro loan through MercyCorps NW and a strong, collaborative relationship with our local developer to ensure the success of OurBar.
Once the doors open, our biggest foreseeable challenge is not being able to meet the demands of a town ready and anxious for a new place to eat. Other small businesses and non-profits that have opened in the past year on Main Street have been welcomed with energy and enthusiasm. Open houses for each new venture are packed with residents eager to participate.
We are confident that with our combined 30+ years of restaurant experience and immense devotion to the success of OurBar we will be able to meet and exceed expectations. Looking forward to seeing and feeding you soon.
- (21 days)