Friends' collaboration brings unique wine bar pizzeria to Newberg
Small town wine enthusiasts and pizza lovers alike have a reason to rejoice.
The owners of Syndicate Wine Bar and 48 North Pizzeria, two prominent Portland fixtures, have joined forces to form a wine bar pizzeria in Newberg's Old Mill Marketplace. Still operating as two separate businesses, Syndicate Wine Bar and 48 North Pizzeria bring the best of both enterprises under one roof.
For David and Angela Anderson's Syndicate Wine bar, it means decades of wine experience, hundreds of varieties and the ability to snuff out the perfect wine for every customer, even people who typically dislike wine or have no experience with it.
For Kevin York's 48 North Pizzeria, it means providing "affordable gourmet" pizza that anyone can eat, regardless of their religious beliefs, dietary needs or moral convictions.
"We're not just another pinot pizza wine bar," David Anderson said.
David Anderson and York originally met 20 years ago when they worked together in McMinnville. In those days, both were pursuing different career paths and showed no interest in starting their own businesses in the hospitality industry.
When they reconnected last winter after a chance meeting in the Andersons' bar, they were shocked to discover what each other had been up to in the years that had passed. At the time, York had been looking to open a third 48 Pizzeria in Beaverton and decided one night on a whim to check out the wine bar across the street.
After initial greetings, David Anderson, who had started Syndicate with his wife during the pandemic and grown accustomed to coming up with creative ways to adapt his business, proposed a mutually beneficial partnership. Neither business had what the other was offering and, since they were both looking to expand, it made sense to do it together.
"It's a really beautiful partnership that is evolving," he said.
In a similar fashion, Angela Anderson described the collaboration as a "beautiful trifecta" and said the trio works together like a "three-legged stool." They all bring their own expertise to the table, she added, and know when to yield to one another's leadership.
For instance, she has a finance and human resources background, while her husband is a certified sommelier and has experience with sales. York knows pizza; he has even come up with pizzas that pair well with wines.
But what brought this dynamic trio to Newberg?
"We felt there was a need for us," York said.
Before York started his 48 North Pizzeria chain in Portland five years ago, he noticed that even in a city with such a diverse food community, few restaurants catered to every diet. He recalled having to be extra selective when eating out with friends who are vegan or dairy-free.
In response, York resolved to create a mostly vegan-based menu with lots of gluten-free options. Traditional pizza is also available, but all sauces are vegan, York said.
"Pizza is one of those foods that everyone should be able to eat," York said. "We've all had memories of eating pizza since childhood. It's just wrong not to be able to eat it."
York said it appears Newberg has even fewer vegan options than the Portland metropolitan area. Even so, he was surprised just how welcome they were.
"We didn't think our vegan menu would do as well as its doing," York said, adding that he has had many customers come up to him and say, "This is great! I can finally eat pizza."
"This is why we did this," York said.
Like York with pizza, David Anderson said he believes wine should be accessible to everyone.
"We're not stuffy," he said, adding that while they do take the quality of the wine seriously, they focus primarily on "guest experience." He said he wants the Newberg location to be a place to relax and share wine with friends.
To people who don't typically like wine or beer, David Anderson said, "Give us a chance." He added that they strive to find beverages that taste good to everyone. "We approach things from a patient, educational mindset."
When pairing customers with wine, he and his staff start off by asking people about their favorite flavors and drinks, such as tea, coffee or beer.
Customers might not find a wine that suits them immediately, but David Anderson said he is confident that by the end of the evening, they will.
"We are helping our guests expand their tastebuds," he said. "They just need to take a chance and try them."
Customers should also expect more than just pinot or chardonnay options — two popular drinks in town — from the Newberg location.
"We want to hook people up with local, regional and international wine," David Anderson said. "We want to hit every corner of the wine list."
Beer and sake cocktails are also available.
Each type of pizza comes with several wine suggestions, as do York's specialty hot wines. The business also offers unique kinds of pizza dough, including sake and craft beer dough, which pair well with alcoholic beverages, he said.
"We love to have fun with food and wine pairings," David Anderson said, but "at the end of the day, it's all about asking our customers, 'does it taste good to you?'"
Ultimately, he added, the experience is "supposed to be fun" and his intention is to bring a light-hearted and enjoyable approach to wine tasting.
"Everything stems from that philosophy," he said.
David and Angela are originally from McMinnville, and both described the feeling of setting up shop in Newberg as like "coming home."
They plan to move to town once their son graduates from high school.
All three owners agree that the reception in Newberg has been great since opening. Angela Anderson said that people seem especially excited that the joint enterprise is run by locals, instead of a large corporation.
"The response is universal: 'We'll be back and we're bringing friends with us,'" David Anderson said.
Syndicate Wine Bar/48 North Pizzeria offers dine-in, take-out and with delivery options. The joint establishment currently opens at 4 p.m. and closes whenever people are done eating. After the holidays, they will open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Live music is available every Friday. A covered and heated outdoor patio will be finished in the spring.
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