Frequent trips to London’s Berry Bros & Rudd inspired William Oben and Neil Thompson to open Park Avenue Wines and Bardot Wine Bar in Portland’s downtown urban core. For the past two decades, the duo worked in Portland’s wholesale, retail and restaurant wine scene. When a 32-year-old restaurant in a historic building closed, they seized the opportunity to transform the 8,000-square-foot space into a wine destination. A regal chandelier, riddling racks stocked with grower Champagne, warm wood floors and exposed brick walls set the mood. “We are definitely Francophiles,” says Oben, which means shelves deep in Burgundy, Loire and Rhône bottles. Access to private cellars and auction houses bolsters the library collection (from Lafite Rothschild to Richebourg). Relationships with Northwest producers round out the selections, which they aim to build to 3,000 by late summer. Downstairs there’s a swanky clubroom, locker storage for members and a stately dining room for winemaker dinners.
This review appears in the print edition of the August 2017 issue. Like what you just read? Subscribe now.