By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Along the Street: More restaurants reopen indoor dining

Rusty Rae/News-Register##
Diners, from left, Luelle Fritz, McCall Fairbank, Becky Fairbank and Jessica Bogh enjoy lunch at The Sage, which reopened to indoor dining on Monday. Manager Chris Gregory said the Third Street restaurant will continue offering takeout soups, sandwiches and salads, as well.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## Diners, from left, Luelle Fritz, McCall Fairbank, Becky Fairbank and Jessica Bogh enjoy lunch at The Sage, which reopened to indoor dining on Monday. Manager Chris Gregory said the Third Street restaurant will continue offering takeout soups, sandwiches and salads, as well.

In McMinnville, Third Street restaurants also are getting ready for the start of the Dine Out(side) program, which will run Friday through Sunday starting May 28, and on Thursday evenings, as well, from July to September.

Among recent reopenings:

n Nick’s Italian Cafe, 521 N.E. Third St., opened its dining room for dinner service on Thursday. It will be open tonight and Saturday, as well, then switch to a regular schedule of Wednesdays through Sundays.

The dining room will be open for dinner starting at 4 p.m. Drop-in customers are welcome, owner Carmen Peirano said. However, she said, with the number of diners limited, reservations are suggested at 503-434-4471.

Some items, such as Nick’s famous minestrone soup, also are served at lunchtime Tuesdays through Saturdays in the Peirano & Daughters Market next door. The deli, open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., also offers to-go soup and pastas such as the popular spinach ravioli.

While her deli has been open throughout the pandemic, the restaurant was closed much of the time. “My hat’s off to other places that did takeout, but our food was not as adaptable,” she said.

Nick’s offers wood-fired pizza, seasonal Northwest specialties, minestrone and “lots of local wine,” plus four to six handmade pastas daily, such as crab lasagna and ravioli. When open, the back-room bar serves pizza, hamburgers and beverages, as well.

Peirano said everything is made from scratch. That’s been the case since Nick’s was founded by her father, Nick Peirano, in 1977.

Nick’s did open last summer during the first McMinnville Dine Out(side) event. It was great to be able to serve customers on Third Street, she said, although it also was quite a learning experience.

She said she’s looking forward to participating in Dine Out(side) again this summer.

n The Sage, upstairs from La Bella Casa at Third and Davis streets, reopened Monday. Dining tables are 6 feet apart and the windows are open to bring in fresh air, manager Chris Gregory said.

He and his mother, Cindy Lorenzen, run the popular lunch spot, which offers soups, salads and sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Gregory makes three soups each day: broccoli cheese — the best seller — and one cream soup such as creamy turkey with wild rice and one broth soup such as beef noodle.

The Sage served up some of that soup free to people who lost power during February’s ice storm.

Gregory said his family tries to help others whenever it can, so providing hot soup to those without electricity was a natural fit. “We have a deep love for this community,” he said. “The community has been here for us, and it’s important to give back.”

Although its dining room now is open, The Sage will continue offering curbside pickup from the back door, which faces the public parking lot on the Second Street side.

Gregory said they started takeout service when the pandemic hit, and it has been extremely popular. “It might be a new permanent change,” he said.

For orders and more information, call The Sage, at 503-472-4445.


Places to sip

Three new wine businesses are open, or opening soon, on McMinnville’s Third Street.

Elena’s Wine Bar is expected to open in June at 546 N.E. Third St., in the RJ Studio building.

Randy Yuranek will continue shooting pictures and offering an art gallery in the back part of the building. Visitors will be able to sip wine and visit the gallery, as well.

A sneak preview of the wine bar will be offered during the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Greeters program from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday, May 21.

Troon Vineyard is planning to open a tasting room this summer in a new building on the south side of the 600 block of Third Street. The tasting room will be at street level, below tech company Buildable, which occupies the upper part of the building.

Troon has a tasting room on Kutch Street in Carlton, as well.

HiFi Wine Bar is in the process of remodeling the space at 711 N.E. Third St. Evan Martin of Martin Woods Winery said he expects it to open in late July or early August.

Jacob Williams Winery recently opened a new tasting room at 232 N.E. Third Street. It is open from 3 to 8 p.m. Fridays and 1 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.  Jacob Williams, a family owned boutique winery, is based in Wishram, Washington. Its tasting room there is open daily.


Vidon president

Tiquette Bramlett has been named president of Vidon Vineyard of Newberg, making her the first Black woman leading a major winery in the U.S.

Bramlett, 37, will oversee Vidon’s winery, tasting room and 12.5-acre vineyard. The vineyard is planted in Tempranillo, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier grapes, as well as Pinot noir.

She also will work closely with Vidon’s winemaker, David Bellows.

Owners Dru and Erin Allen, who purchased Vidon in November 2020, said they want to make their business more diverse. Bramlett’s knowledge of wine and wine making made her the right fit for the presidency.

“We cannot wait to see what we accomplish together as we navigate the future of Vidon,” the Allens said.

Vidon Vineyard was founded in 1999 by Don and Vicki Hagge. They operated it until last year, when they sold the company to the Allens.

Although she grew up with parents who loved wine, Bramlett didn’t start her career in that industry. Rather, she was a singer until she developed thyroid cancer.

After that, she studied to be a sommelier, then started working in the Anne Amie Vineyards tasting room in 2015. Later, she became a brand ambassador for Abbey Creek Vineyard.

She also was acting liaison for the Willamette Valley Winery Association, Women in Wine and Assemblage Symposium.

Chamber Greeters

Elena’s Wine Bar, a new business opening at 546 N.E. Third St. in the RJ Photography building, will be the scene of a Greeters program on Friday, May 21.

The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce program will meet from 8 to 9 a.m. Members should bring $1 and some business cards.

For more information, go to the Chamber website,

The Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Greeters program May 21 will feature Willamette Valley Medical Center. The program will run from 8 to 9 a.m. For more information, go to


CCC hospitality

Chemeketa Community College has earned top ranking for Best Online Hospitality Management Degree Programs by

The rating is based on an assessment of 1,280 accredited colleges and universities. Each program is evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation and post-graduate employment.

To access the complete ranking, visit:

Send business news to Starla Pointer at



The longest two weeks of my life.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable