Portland charity pub aims to change the world

Portland charity pub aims to change the world

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by KGW staff

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kgw.com

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 5:57 AM

Updated Friday, May 17 at 5:57 AM

PORTLAND -- Giving away profits isn’t always a great idea, but for Portland’s newest pub it’s the only reason to be in business. Having a pint at the Oregon Public House could help change the world.

The idea to leverage increasing alcohol sales in a struggling economy began three years ago for the new Portland charity pub.

“We thought, why not start a business that exists simply to raise money for other local charities,” said Oregon Public House co-founder Ryan Saari.

It wasn't a stretch for Saari. He's used to helping people as pastor of the Oregon Community Church. Services are held just upstairs from the pub at the village ballroom.

“This is a totally Portland kind of idea that has been built and made and created by Portlanders,” he said. “We knew enough to know it was a good idea. We didn't know enough not to try it.”

He started with a budget of zero and raised the money needed to make it happen.

They partnered with others restaurants and breweries and always held on to a “waste not want not” philosophy.

Watching over the pub is Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of giving. And for those who donated early is the founders wall of fame.

“They receive a beer a day for life, a beer a week for life, or a beer a month for life,” Saari said.

The menu is as varied as the charities that will benefit from the pub.

“When you walk in, you pick your food, pick your drink, and then you pick which charity your individual proceeds go to,” Saari said. “We are committed to giving literally 100 percent of what we make away."

The grand opening for The Oregon Public House is Friday starting at 3 p.m. at 700 Northeast Dekum. The pub hopes to brew its own beer soon.

KGW business reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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