Cold snap, closures, and new starts

News-Register file photo##Crews rebuild the Organic Valley Creamery on Highway 99W in McMinnville, which was heavily damaged in an April 2021 fire.

News-Register file photo##Crews rebuild the Organic Valley Creamery on Highway 99W in McMinnville, which was heavily damaged in an April 2021 fire.

News-Register file photo##Dave Queener works on remodel plans for the building at 401 NE Evans St., where Two Dogs Taphouse, owned by Dave and his wife Jamie, opened back in September.

News-Register file photo##Dave Queener works on remodel plans for the building at 401 NE Evans St., where Two Dogs Taphouse, owned by Dave and his wife Jamie, opened back in September.

The cool spring was also very wet, hampering flowering and growing conditions and delaying some plantings.

However, the field and vineyards finally dried up and the season turned out to be better than feared. Vineyard owners say they don’t mind a slightly late harvest; The crop looked good.

What will the weather bring in 2023? Even the most experienced farmer is not sure.

Organic Valley

A year after its plant burned to the ground on April 20, 2021, Organic Valley Creamery has begun receiving milk again and producing dry milk powder.

The new facility, completed in late summer, has drive-in bays where tanker trucks can unload milk and additional storage for liquids. A second phase is planned later; The time is set in 2023.

Local officials, as well as Wisconsin’s Organic Valley, applauded the reopening. It gives Oregon and Washington organic dairies a place to bring their milk, and it both provides jobs and boosts McMinnville’s economy.

The cake rises

Lynnfield University’s new WM Keck Science Center is slowly taking shape in 2022, one of several construction projects in McMinnville and greater Amhill County.

The new building will connect to the renovated Graff and Murdock Halls. Together, the complex offers offices for staff, classrooms and labs for students of all majors, and plenty of room for collaborative research — a hallmark of Linfield’s science program.

A grand opening is planned for February 2023, as the spring semester begins. Along with the opening, two Nobel laureates will address.

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New uses

One of the most common questions asked on local Facebook pages this year was “what’s going into the old JC Penney building” at the mall on the north end of town.

As the New-Register first reported in January, HomeGoods and Ulta Beauty plan to convert the space into two storefronts. Ulta Beauty opened in early fall, and HomeGoods in October, donated to the local Henderson House program for victims of domestic violence.

Restaurant changes

Even as the economy begins to recover from the pandemic, many local restaurants have announced closings.

Morning Thunder ended its popular run on Third Street, and both Community Plate and Red Hills Kitchen took their final bows on Dec. 18.

But Two Dogs Taphouse, which lost its lease and is temporarily closing at the end of 2021, reopened in a new location in September. Restaurant and Taphouse 401 NE Evans St.

Several new restaurants and wine bars have also opened.

Humble Spirit, part of the Tabula Rasa/The Ground suite of businesses, opened at the former site of The 411. A high-end restaurant, Okta, has opened next to the new Tributary Hotel, located on the top floor of the old one. Taylor-Dale Hardware Building; Octa Bar and Lounge is located in Tributary Basement.

Food trucks have become a big part of the dining scene, with a pod of carts next to a grocery outlet and other carts around town. Offerings now range from burgers at Neely’s, Thai at Kate’s, Filipino food in April and food from various Mexican regions such as Taste of the World, Jalisco.

And former food truck owners JP and Saira Cloninger opened Hawaii Five-O-Three in the Morning Thunder space, sharing a kitchen while the latter was in operation.

In 2023, the popular Hawaiian Five-O-Three will move to a new location in the Granary Row Building on Lafayette Avenue. Other restaurants are also likely to open, close or relocate as the year progresses.

Pike Road Wines has moved to a ground-floor corner location in the Douglas Hotel building at Third and Galloway, and Mantinore/Landlines Wineries has moved into the former Cornerstone Coffee space, 216 NE Third St., for a larger wine bar called The Grove.

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Large planes

McMinnville celebrated two giant airplanes this year: the Spruce Goose, the centerpiece of the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, and the 1971 747 cargo plane that sits in front of the museum along Highway 18.

November 2 75th Anniversary 75th Anniversary 75th Anniversary of the one and only Flight of the Goose, developed by Howard Hughes for the purpose of transporting troops and equipment during World War II.

Hughes himself was at the controls that day as the huge wooden plane taxied over Long Beach Harbor. Watching the plane taxi was a treat for Hughes Corporation workers and many spectators gathered along the waterfront. But when Hughes revved and lifted the four giant engines, they were surprised.

He made a short trip across the harbor and then brought the spruce goose down, where it would be hung and then displayed as a tourist attraction. In 1992, Evergreen founder Dale Smith and his son, Michael King Smith, acquired it and trucked it to McMinnville. Volunteers restored and reassembled the museum’s aviation building in time for its opening on June 6, 2002.

On November 2, the museum threw a 75th anniversary party for Goose. They are planning more activities in 2023 centered around the giant plane.

But the Spruce Goose isn’t the only aircraft that’s getting attention in 2022. In July, the Amhill County Sheriff’s Office put the 747 up for auction.

It has collected about $387,000 worth of storage fees since its engines were removed and acquired by Jet Midwest after Evergreen’s 2014 bankruptcy. Now it goes to the highest bidder.

And it did — the Stoller Group’s McMinnville Properties, which already owned the land where the plane and museum are located, won the plane in exchange for what it owed for storage. The company, which was the sole bidder in the July 28 auction, announced that it will remain in place.

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Museum supporters were thrilled: They said it was a good way to attract passersby to stop by the museum and a good deal for McMinnville’s economy.

Changes at OMI

Oregon Mutual Insurance no longer offers personal lines of insurance for homes, autos and vacations.

The iconic McMinnville Company, founded in McMinnville in 1894 and now serving customers throughout the West, continues to write policies for commercial businesses, farms and wineries.

Individual insurance policies renewed in 2022 will remain valid until their renewal date of January 1, 2023 or December 31, 2023 of the following year. But after that, the company announced in late November that customers would have to find new carriers.

“It was a business decision; A tough decision,” said Steve Patterson, OMI’s CEO since 2006.

“We’ve been hoping for years that we can continue to have individual insurance,” he added. This change was not done out of desperation, but he insisted to make OMI a strong company in today’s market.

Mock Theatre

A year after purchasing the historic Mack Theater and Hotel Yamhill, the new owners said in late November they had completed a study of the property and were ready to move forward with challenging, but feasible, renovations.

“Our goal from the beginning of this project has been to bring these buildings back to life in a way that lifts up our community, protecting what we love and giving new life to what we’ve lost,” said Erin Stephenson, one of the co-founders. – Property owners.

Called “Mactastic LLC,” she and her team hope to transform the space at Third and Evans streets in downtown McMinnville into an “arts and culture destination with a variety of amenities for community members and visitors to enjoy.”

“We believe we have found a way forward, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us to achieve it,” she said.

With construction expected to begin in 2024, they hope to turn the former theater into a venue that will host around 150 events a year, including live music and films.


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