By Alicia Polacok, Resourceful PDX partner Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Brothers Adam and Jason Gorske opened DIY Bar in April 2017 as a long-held dream come true. It is a gathering place to work on individual crafts from their project menu while enjoying beer, cider or wine.
I visited on a Friday evening with three friends to get the story of this business from the brothers – and try my hand at a craft.
Coming from a close family, Adam and Jason always thought they would work together in some capacity. When they both found themselves in Portland in 2015, the dream started to take shape into a business. One where their respective skills and interests came into play - reusing, tinkering and mastering a sense of accomplishment.
For DIY Bar, it involved reusing old materials to repurpose into something new and building things based on their home improvement project experiences. Adam explained that salvage materials from the ReBuilding Center and Salvage Works were used to create the facade of the host stand, shelving for project supplies and the inside of the bar.
A place for crafty (and not so crafty) people
The idea for DIY Bar was inspired by paint and sip places, where you can enjoy a beverage while painting with step-by-step instructions and take home something unique.
Adam and Jason have done the work for you to find the projects, gather the tools and materials needed to make beautiful and functional crafts. To maintain consistency, the project materials are new, while the tools are reused by guests.
Adam said, “The future may include collaboration with other organizations and an interest in featuring local artists to do more intensive and in-depth projects.”
The most popular item on the 16-project menu is the rustic nail and string art. There are templates to choose from, or staff will help you create something one-of-a kind. During my visit – my three friends all chose string art projects. Because I put myself in the not-so-crafty category, I was daunted, so chose a leather beer koozie project instead. I love koozies (and beer) so why not try to make my own?!
With detailed step-by-step instructions in hand, and my questions answered by staff, I completed my koozie. There was still time for a drink and to mingle with others in the space. The friendly atmosphere encouraged people to see what others were making and celebrate their finished works of art.
The evening my friends and I were there, the place was full, and it turned out about one-third of the customers were from out of town. Tourists. Coming to experience a bit of Portland while visiting the city.