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New owners keep the wine flowing at Cooper's posted on 09/01/2021

Cooper’s Wine Bar and Shop in Welches will “pass the bottle” to new ownership starting in September. A current employee, Bri Dittlinger, and business partners will take over the establishment and continue the legacy of Cooper’s by keeping the wine flowing when long-term owners Shannon and John Thompson relocate to Hood River.

The new owners are hosting a grand reopening party with live music, appetizers and a local tasting event from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, to celebrate their new adventure as wine shop owners.

“It’s been a dream that sparked into a reality,” Dittlinger said about the decision to purchase the shop. “We wanted to make sure (Cooper’s) stayed in the community.”

Dittlinger is purchasing the business with her husband, Kevin, and another couple, Michael Morlan and Ryan Black. The two couples met while neighbors in the Mount Hood RV Village. They bonded over a common background of growing up in the St. Louis area, similar career paths and a shared interest in wine. The four were regulars at Cooper’s when Dittlinger began working parttime two years ago with Shannon Thompson, who mentored her on working in the industry.

“(Shannon) knew when she was mentoring me that I was interested in owning a shop. When the opportunity came up, I knew I did not want to let it go, and that we four have a friendship solid enough to open a business together,” Dittlinger said.

The shop will continue to offer a selection of local and imported wine with a focus on west coast and northwest regional wines. The shop features a “Mountain Local” section that offers 30 bottles produced within 100 miles of Mount Hood.

All four owners will work at the shop pouring wine and beer and offering guidance on the selection. September will mark the return of Cooper’s hosting beer and wine tastings, as well as offering beer and wine by the glass and charcuterie plates. The wine glass pours consist of four reds, three whites and a sparkling wine selection and will rotate every week. Tasting flights are available of any four of the eight glass pours.

The shop will resume hosting wine tastings from local wineries on the second Friday of each month. The local tastings will begin on Friday, Oct. 8 with wine from Wy’east Vineyards in Hood River.

“We want to continue to offer an inclusive and open space to gather in the community. Our goal is to have a business where anyone can show up and feel welcome,” Dittlinger said.

Community members are invited to come meet the new owners at the Sept. 10 re-opening party and enjoy live music and food provided from the neighboring cantina.

Cooper’s Wine Bar and Shop is located at 24540 East Welches Road in Welches. New hours for the shop in September will be 3-9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 1-9 p.m. Saturday.

Cooper’s offers indoor and outdoor seating.

More information is available on the establishment’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cooperswines/ or by phone at 503-662-2025.

By Ben Simpson/MT

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