Press Release: LaVelle Wine Bar & Grille to Close May 1st

My Dad wrote up this official press release on the Wine Bar closing. I wanted to make sure we start
sharing it with people.

This letter is intended to give our customers some advance notice of our intention to close LaVelle Wine Bar & Grille on May 1, 2018 when our current lease expires, to explain the factors that have gone into this decision, and to share with you our ideas about how we want to focus our efforts going forward.

First, let me address the reasons for this decision. We have had a second, in town location since July, 1999. We moved to our current location 4+ years ago after 14 years at the 5th St Public Market because 1) the Market space had become too expensive to be a viable option and 2) we had high hopes that the commercial park where we moved would develop into a real hub for well-paid, professional jobs. That development never happened and in the last few years the jobs that were here have declined, most notably a huge downsizing at Symantec. This has put a noticeable dent in our after work crowd and the associated sales.

At the same time, wine tasting habits in this area have changed dramatically. Back in 1999 there were only three wineries in this area and not many folks went to the country to go wine tasting. Consequently, if we wanted to have a large wine club, an in town location for wine club pickups was more or less mandatory. Today there are many, many more wineries in this area and  folks seem to prefer to do their wine tasting in the country. That makes me question the need for an in-town location. Maybe, we thought, we should be focusing our energies on the winery property instead.

We have actually been anticipating this move for several years and have been working to make the winery a more attractive, year round destination. We built the deck at the top of the vineyard and put up an awning covering part of the south lawn. Last summer we added shade sails on the remainder of the upper lawn. Last fall we added three fire pits to the covered area outside and this winter we converted some office and storage space upstairs in the winery to the new “LaVelle Loft”, a heated and air conditioned seating area inside the winery. This fall we will add commercial lighting to the parking lot and by next winter we hope to attract people out to a much more welcoming year round venue. We are also planning a series of “Pop Up Parties” at easily accessible locations in Eugene where wine club members who prefer to pick up their club shipments in town will have that opportunity.

For now, it is business as usual which means the wine bar will still be open for picking up both your January and April wine club shipments.


Doug LaVelle

If you have any questions or concerns please know that you can always contact us directly about this or any communication we send out.


  1. I have always admired the way you run the business, Doug. I feel fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with you and Matthew for the good years I had. Excited to read about your plans, and really appreciate and value the way you are forthright and open with your clients. I will always have a special place in my heart for LaVelle - the family and the winery. Cheers! ~Liz Swagerty Olsen

  2. We appreciate and value the welcoming atmosphere that Doug and Matthew have created and nurtured. Visiting LaVelle is like visiting dear friends . . . and love your wine.

    1. George, I wish I could clone you so that there were 10 more of you in our wine club! Such kind words from a kind person!

  3. It is great to see the changes going on at the vineyard in Elmira. We have always enjoyed the atmosphere and now with the addition of the loft we have more motivation to visit and enjoy wonderful hospitality and great wines. We certainly appreciate the update and look forward to more positive changes.


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