What’s New in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley?
Tualatin Valley is an ever-changing destination with new hotels, culinary attractions and more that are generating buzz among visitors and locals alike. Here is a peak of what’s new in the valley and what’s on the horizon.
Downtown Beaverton: Revitalization
The city of Beaverton, one of the largest cities in Oregon, is solidifying itself as a culinary destination with the introduction of new restaurants its downtown core, playfully named “Restaurant Row.”
Syndicate Wine Bar, downtown Beaverton’s first wine bar, opened August 2019 and features their own wines, as well as a curated selection of local wines and wines from around the world.
Lionheart Coffee Co. opened its second location on “Restaurant Row” in late November. Lionheart is specializes in serving local coffees, teas and pastries. The downtown location also offers local beer and wine.
Portland favorite The Whole Bowl opened a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Beaverton in late November 2019. Known for its tasty vegetarian and vegan fare, Whole Bowl was founded in 2001 as a single food cart in Portland, it now has 12 locations (mostly food carts) in four states.
These new dining spots join Portland’s Ex Novo Brewing Company, known for its hop-forward, malt-forward and sour craft beers and Detroit-style pizzas, which opened in early 2019, and Big’s Chicken, from chef Ben Bettinger.
More restaurants (names and details have not been released publicly yet) are also slated to open in Beaverton’s downtown core in 2020, including the addition of hip Tokyo export Afuri opening its second Portland area location in downtown Beaverton. Afuri, named by Eater as one of the best ramen shops in the Portland region, specializes in seasonal bowls made with local ingredients. Stay tuned!
In early 2019, the 80-room, all-suite, extended stay hotel Staybridge Suites Hillsboro North opened near the Hillsboro burg of Helvetia, close to some of the area’s best attractions.
The city of Sherwood–located in southern Tualatin Valley–will get its first hotel when the Hampton Inn Sherwood opens spring 2020. Located just off 99W, this 73-room hotel is located in the heart of Oregon wine country.
Staybridge Suites Hillsboro South, an 80-room, all-suite extended-stay hotel located in the Orenco Station neighborhood, is expected to open late-spring 2020.
Home2Suites Hillsboro (9790 NE Tanasbourne Dr., Hillsboro; hilton.com) is an extended-stay hotel located in the Tanasbourne neighborhood. Close to shopping and restaurants, this hotel all-suite hotel is expected to open late-summer 2020.
Several additional hotels currently under construction in Tualatin Valley are expected to open in 2020. Including two Hyatt House hotels, a Marriott AC and an Element by Westin.
New Events & Happenings in 2020
Oregon’s Tualatin Valley continues to grow its culinary offerings. The following are some of the latest happenings for 2020.
Two new sub-Area Viticultural Areas currently are under consideration by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. If approved, these two new AVAs (nested in the Willamette Valley)–Laurelwood and Tualatin Hills–will be situated in the Tualatin Valley. Both AVAs are notable for their Laurelwood soils, which differentiates the vineyards in this area from the different soil types found in other parts of the Willamette Valley. AVA designation is expected to happen in March.
Craft Beer News
In the spring, the Washington County Visitors Association is unveiling a Tualatin Valley Ale Trail, a passport program incorporating two dozen craft breweries in the destination.
New Wine Event
Local wine association, the North Willamette Vintners, is launching a new event in 2020. Taste Local in the North Valley is a multi-day event with special dinners and tastings and a grand tasting on March 21st featuring more than 20 wineries in the Tualatin Valley. **This event will be postponed due to COVID-19
In 2020, the city of Banks (incorporated January 16, 1920) will celebrate its 100th birthday with a Centennial Kickoff Celebration (January 16,2020, 6-8 p.m.). Banks is small, rural community located 24 miles northwest of Portland, just outside of the Portland Metropolitan Urban Growth Boundary, at the foot of the Oregon Coast Range.
Two of Oregon’s pioneering wineries are celebrating 50th anniversaries in 2020:
- Oak Knoll Winery (established 1970) was started when then owners Ronald and Marjorie Vuylsteke founded the first winery in Oregon’s Washington County. In the fall of 1970, the first vintage was created with grapes and fruit acquired from area farmers. In the beginning, Oak Knoll was known for its wide range of fruit wines, including the raspberry wine it still produces today.
- Ponzi Vineyards (established 1970) planted its first Pinot Noir cuttings in 1970 by Dick and Nancy Ponzi, one of the founding families of Oregon Pinot Noir, establishing its estate vineyard. In 1976, Ponzi Vineyards launched its first bottling of Pinot Noir, and in 1979, was the first Oregon wine to be featured in The New York Times. Today, Ponzi Vineyards is run by the 2nd generation, and produces not only Pinot Noir, but a host of red and white wines, including Italian varietals not often found in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Two Tualatin Valley wineries are celebrating silver anniversaries this year:
- Patton Valley Vineyard (established 1995) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a harvest celebration, August 22. This certified sustainable vineyard has been producing high-quality and acclaimed Pinot Noir, Gamay and Chenin Blanc.
- Raptor Ridge Winery (established 1995) is one of Oregon’s esteemed producers of quality Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and more. Owners Scott and Annie Shull have established wonderful wines and have introduced varieties such as Auxxerois and Gruner Vetliner to the northern Willamette Valley.