The collaboration between RAM Cellars and Gonzales Wine Company brings an inclusive and accessible space to SW Portland.
Community Wine Bar co-owners and winemakers Cristina Gonzales and Vivianne Kennedy will open their doors for the first time this September at their Grand Opening weekend. Guests will enjoy special 3 and 6-wine flights, library wines from both RAM Cellars and Gonzales Wine Company, and food from a local guest to be announced on social media. The Grand Opening also includes features of the new space, including a local art installation, an ASL interpreter, and bilingual wine tastings. It will also be a chance for attendees to meet both winemakers at once, as they will both be manning the bar all weekend long.
GRAND OPENING WEEKEND
614 S. Dakota St., Portland, OR 97239
Saturday, September 9: 1-8pm
Sunday, September 10: 1-6pm
Community Wine Bar has been several months in the making, partially due to the typical rigamarole of city permits, but also because the co-founders have placed an emphasis on making the space truly accessible. Community Wine Bar seeks to invite in a host of communities beyond a welcoming poster or pride flag—Gonzales and Kennedy have researched how their small wine bar can actually accommodate the underserved. “There’s a lot of talk about spaces being ‘open to everyone.’ We want to create a space that is not just open, but purposefully welcoming and comfortable to folks of marginalized communities,” said Kennedy, founder of RAM Cellars.
So far, these accommodations include:
- An ASL interpreter at regular hours, tentatively every Saturday from 2-4pm
- Wine tastings offered in Spanish as well as English
- Wheelchair-friendly tables
- Gluten-free and vegan alternatives offered at the same price point as “default” options
- Non-alcoholic beverages offered
- Children welcome until 6pm, with a special menu available
- Dogs welcome outside, ADA service dogs of course welcome anywhere and anytime
- A quarterly art installation featuring local artists
- Plans to host other marginalized business owners as pop-up guests and featured additions to menus
Community Wine Bar was born from years of friendship between Gonzales and Kennedy, both outliers in the wine industry. Together with fellow marginalized folks, they created a sense of safety and acceptance. Now, emboldened by their community, the winemakers have decided to migrate this inclusive space to a physical address with regular business hours. Now others can experience wine in a context that invites people in.
Kennedy and Gonzales hope their community comes out in support of the new space, and in support of inclusive wine spaces in general. After all, wine was created to be shared over food with loved ones—its origin is about coming together to sit, talk, and enjoy good things.