By Nastacia Voisin • Of the News-Register • 

Crews begin work on KAOS project

Emrick, who headed Western Oregon Waste before orchestrating its sale to California-based Recology, plans to start with a restaurant, bar and office complex. In the second phase, he plans to add a boutique hotel capable of accommodating 30 guests.

Emrick originally envisioned erecting a three-story structure featuring hotel rooms on the second floor, sandwiched between a ground floor and rooftop restaurant. But financing and environmental challenges led to a series of delays and changes.

At a Friday groundbreaking ceremony, Emrick mentioned the obstacles, but said they were not going to stop him from altering the paradigm of downtown McMinnville with a major new magnet development serving to help fuel a push east. He said he was hoping to hold construction to a 10-month schedule, allowing him to stage a grand opening on May 15, 2015.

“We’re now a tourist community,” said Emrick, who came to McMinnville to attend Linfield and never left. “We’re no longer farmers and loggers.”

When it is fully built, he said, KAOS will add an entirely new dimension to a Third Street experience already enjoyed by visitors.

Plans he submitted to the city Building Department call for a 4,733-square-foot first floor featuring a restaurant, bar, winetasting room and open-air patio for outdoor dining enthusiasts.

The second floor will contain offices. The third will have a second restaurant and bar — with outside seating — encompassing 4,216 square feet.

Emrick recently purchased a pair of lots on the other side of Fourth Street. They figure into a plan for development of parking space for 25 cars.

Emrick has hired Dustin Wyant of Bend to serve as general manager of the overall operation.

Wyant said the two restaurants won’t be similar. Each will feature its own set of unique culinary concepts.

He said steak and wild game would be served downstairs. The more casual rooftop eatery will feature burgers, wood-fired pizza and other offerings of that ilk.

Ingredients will be locally grown and sourced when possible, Wyant said, possibly at some point from KAOS’ own five-acre farm.

“When you come in, the idea is to make you feel at home,” he said. To that end, he said, repurposed materials will be integrated into the building wherever possible, including wood and corrugated tin from old agriculture structures.

Despite the period look, Wyant said, the building will be highly energy-efficient.

Emrick said he expects KAOS to develop into an environment with a singular identity. He said he envisions it hosting a constant cycle of events throughout the year, with jugglers, acrobats, comedians and musicians all playing a part. 

“We’re going to change the mass of Third Street,” he said. “We think it will be a magnet for the community.”

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