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  • Indulge Staff

Where the winemakers imbibe

The Backroom at Nick’s  //  Rockne Roll

With a wide and assorted range of establishments to quench your thirst in the area, it can be hard to choose. In this area, as in many others, it can be helpful to ask the pros where they go. In this case, we asked the pros who create some of the area’s finest libations — winemakers — and heard a diverse range of responses.

A favorite of the wine industry folks we asked is the back room bar at Nick’s Italian Café along Third Street in McMinnville. Wayne Bailey of Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn prefers Nick’s for its food, beverage selection and the crowd the bar attracts.

“Many regulars frequent the back room,” Bailey said. “Many of those regulars are in the industry.

“I go there because we’ll order pizzas to go; I grab a beer and sit and chat with people,” added Todd Hamina of Biggio-Hamina Cellars.

Nick’s back room was also a top choice for Marcus Goodfellow, winemaker at Goodfellow Family Cellars, along with Thistle, a popular cocktail bar just down the block.

“Sitting at the bar in Thistle on a wintry night is like being in a great big city speakeasy without having to leave McMinnville,” he said.

Farther afield, Jim Maguire from Hawkins Cellars in Dundee recommended hometown favorite Lumpy’s Tavern.

“It’s the cleanest dive bar you’ve ever been in,” he said.

Adam Campbell of Elk Cove Vineyards in Gaston also favors a local establishment, the One Horse Tavern, for its selection of local beer and outdoor patio seating during the summer. In Carlton, Hamina recommends The Horse Radish on Main Street, well known for their live music every Friday and Saturday night.

“If you want to get a sandwich, too, or a meat and cheese plate, that’s fantastic,” Hamina said. “Super cool, really nice people.”

In truth, it’s hard to go wrong with the selection and range of watering holes the area has to offer. And as you sip your beverage of choice, be sure to wave to the person at the other end of the bar — he may have had a hand in making your tipple.

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