Philomath food and beverage establishments moving outdoors

by Brad Fuqua July 4th 2020

A number of Philomath restaurants, bars and wineries are trying to utilize their space to the fullest extent possible amid state-imposed reopening restrictions by expanding their seating capacity into outside areas.

Within the past several days, Compton Family Wines and Eats & Treats both added outdoor seating areas to accommodate customers. La Rockita already had tables in front of its restaurant but added a few more. The Meet’n Place, Vinwood Taphouse and Dirt Road Brewing also have outdoor tables, although those were in place prior to the pandemic.

“We’re doing it mainly due to COVID but also, it’s nice to have some outdoor seating with the nice weather,” said Tabitha Compton, who owns Compton Family Wines with husband Matt. “With the 6-foot spacing (requirement), we don’t have a lot of space for seating inside.”

The move has allowed Compton Family Wines, formerly known as Spindrift Cellars, to double its seating capacity with five tables inside and five more outside.

Compton said she originally wanted to set up an outside tasting area in a more private area away from the road outside the back of the building, but open space in front was the quickest option to get the seating expansion established while giving employees time to beautify the area.

Five picnic-style tables were delivered late Thursday and the first customers sat at them on Friday. The area features a unique fence constructed out of wine barrel staves.

“We ripped apart barrels and built this fence out of all of the pieces,” Compton said. “It’s kind of an art piece in itself.”

A fresh coat of paint went up on the building, a fountain was moved into the seating area and an outdoor hand-washing station was installed near the front door.

“We take a lot of precautions and I’ve heard a lot of people say that they haven’t seen anybody that’s doing as much and being as cautious as we are, so that feels good,” Compton said.

The tables were special ordered from a local woodworker.

“I went out on Facebook and it’s one of my friends that I went to high school with that’s still living in the area. I wanted to support local and they’re making them for us,” Compton said earlier in the day before they arrived.