The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, April 20, 2017, Page 7, Image 17

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    APRIL 20, 2017 // 7
MANZANITA — Mark Twain
famously asserted that “too
much of anything is bad, but
too much good whiskey is
barely enough.”
Keep that in mind as you
plan your first visit to MacGre-
gor’s Whiskey Bar, a soon-to-
open establishment on Laneda
Avenue that holds good brown
liquor in high regard.
Owner Chip MacGregor
has developed a deep appre-
ciation for the educational
side of whiskey, something he
credits to his Scottish roots.
“I grew up in a Scottish
family around Scotch, and
over the years, I’ve really
enjoyed getting to know about
whiskey,” he said.
Over the years, MacGre-
gor – who also owns and
operates MacGregor Literary
– had harbored a desire to
open a tasting bar of some
sort in Manzanita.
“I’d talked with Vino
Manzanita a few times about
buying it,” he said, though
concrete plans never materi-
That changed Oct. 14
when a freak tornado hit the
Vino Manzanita took a di-
rect hit, sustaining significant
damage and prompting the
former business owner to not
renew her expiring lease.
MacGregor communicated
his whiskey bar idea to the
building’s owner and soon
began the whirlwind process
of repairing and remodeling:
New lighting, a copper-top
bar and old church pews will
highlight the space, which
will seat 30.
The bar, located at 387
Laneda Ave., is slated to open
May 1.
‘That perfect feel’
While whiskey has been
a staple of the cocktail scene
Chip MacGregor displays his new whiskey bar’s sign, created by Nehalem artist Susan Walsh.
MacGregor’s Staff Breanna Stephens and Joel Jacobsen sam-
pling high-end meats. Manager Lynn Kyriss will offer a variety
of tasty plates with fresh ingredients, including desserts.
for years, only recently has
it developed its own craft
scene, with whiskey tasting
bars and distilleries popping
up with greater frequency
around the country.
It has also taken on an
international flavor and
stretched beyond the more
recognizable Scottish, Irish
and American brands.
MacGregor points to the
evolution of whiskey as a
big part of the fun in his new
“Whiskey has become a
big deal all over the world,”
he said. “Some of the finest
whiskeys right now are being
made in Japan, where they
utilize more scientific meth-
ods rather than the cultural
approach most people are
used to.”
Besides the bar’s name-
sake, MacGregor’s brain trust
includes Manzanita author
and editor Holly Lorincz and
Lynn Kyriss, longtime owner
of Manzanita staple Left
Coast Siesta.
Lorincz drew up the inte-
rior plans for a quiet, intimate
space where people can enjoy
a wide variety of whiskeys in
an upscale setting; Kyriss will
manage the kitchen.
They’ve had outside help
as well: A consultant from
Lexington, Kentucky, who
owns the whiskey bar Parlay
Social, has been working
closely with the team to
ensure the new establishment
captures the perfect feel.
Part of that perfect feel is
food, and MacGregor’s will
concentrate on upscale tapas
While offering a full cocktail bar, the bar’s focus will be on
brown liquor. More than one hundred labels will be on hand.
offerings, including meat,
cheese, pate, and vegetable
boards, along with a fresh
soup of the day, fresh-pressed
coffee and a dessert selection.
All menu items will be
locally sourced.
“I’m looking forward to
the creative opportunity and
changing the menu often,”
Kyriss said.
Nice, warm, healing
The star of the show, of
course, is whiskey, and Mac-
Gregor’s will have more than
100 brown liquors on hand.
That includes scotch-
es from all six regions of
Scotland, Irish whiskeys,
American bourbons and ryes,
Canadian blended whiskeys,
and several choices from
around the world.
MacGregor and Kyriss
recently attended bartending
school in Portland and used
the opportunity to research
myriad whiskeys. Favorites,
of course, separated them-
selves from the pack.
“I discovered Angel’s
Envy Rye from Kentucky,”
MacGregor said. “It was like
a religious experience for
Aged in rum barrels, it has
a strong rye taste, followed
by what Kyriss describes as
burnt-caramel flavor.
“We should have the
biggest selection of brown
liquors on the Oregon Coast,”
MacGregor said, adding that
there will also be a full bar
available, including a few
select beers and wines.
“Overall, we want it to be
a nice, low-key place to enjoy
a quiet evening drink and
talk,” Kyriss said.
MacGregor is pleased
the community has been
overwhelmingly supportive
and enthusiastic. He’s also
happy to offer something
the area doesn’t have yet,
especially considering
the warming properties of
“I’m a native, born and
raised in Oregon,” he said.
“It’s a very wet place, and
whiskey is nice and warm and
For more information, visit
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