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Shannon and John Thompson prepare for opening of Cooper's on Mount Hood in May

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - John and Shannon Thompson will open Cooper's Wine Bar and Shop on May 1, with a grand opening on May 18. Local connoisseurs of wine will rejoice to know a wine bar is coming to Welches. As of May, Shannon and John Thompson plan to offer everything from Paris pinots to Maryhill merlots at Cooper's Wine Bar and Shop, 24540 E. Welches Road.

There will be a soft opening Wednesday, May 1, and a grand opening on Saturday, May 18. Their collections will span the globe, but also showcase the best there is from Oregon's backyard.

"We love wine," Shannon said. "And we've worked on the vineyard side of wine."

"We've always been passionate about it," John added. "We're enthusiastic amateurs. (With the bar we decided to) combine our passion for business and meeting people with our passion for wine."

Shannon noted that the couple hopes to offer several international bottles, which are "a little more obscure" than what's typically offered locally.

"We want to make it a little more accessible for locals and visitors to get wines not as easy to find," she said.

The Thompsons plan to pour six to eight wines at a time, with at least two craft beers on tap as well. They'll also offer a menu of hors d'oeuvres to pair with the wines, including charcuterie, cheese plates and possibly even a Sunday brunch.

Price-wise, the couple plans to keep most bottles in the $15-$25 range, with a few more expensive bottles also offered. It's all about making the bar and shop as accessible as possible.

"We don't want it to feel too high-end," Shannon noted.

Shannon and John also hope to utilize their business to give back to the community through charity days, where part of their proceeds from that day will benefit a Mount Hood-based nonprofit group.

Since the bar is named for the Thompsons' late family dog, Cooper, (which is ironically also the name of a person who makes wine barrel staves) dogs are welcome to accompany "well-behaved humans" to the bar. Minors will also be allowed to join their parents to enjoy nonalcoholic beverages and hors d'oeuvres.

"It's important to get something out there for everybody," Shannon added. "I'm looking forward to meeting more of the community. Everybody we've talked to is so excited. It's an opportunity for us to meet new people and for the community to get together."

In nice weather, the couple will offer outdoor seating, and they also plan to have special nights of live music in the future.

The grand opening will take place at noon on Saturday, May 18, and include tastings from Oregon winemakers.

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