(Kelsey Kuther, creator and owner of Bar Fiori | Photo courtesy of Kelsey Kuther)
Wines are Paired with Albums & Songs
Bend may be known for its beers, but Central Oregon is also a fantastic place to sit back, relax and enjoy a nice glass of wine. Bar Fiori, an online natural wine store that offers “Good Wine for the Good People of Bend,” specializes in holistically and sustainably produced wines from around the world. The company made its debut in May 2021, and while owner Kelsey Kuther is searching for the perfect spot to open a physical location, in the meantime, his wines can be ordered online and are delivered directly to the purchaser’s doorstep.
“I have a very clear idea of what I’m looking for in a space for the wine bar/shop, and it is hard to come by in Central Oregon,” says Kuther. “In addition to my pickiness, real estate is so crazy here right now that I’m opting to take the slow-and-steady approach and play the long game. This is my big dream, and I want to make sure Bar Fiori, the actual bar, is 100 percent true to my vision.” He continues, “I’m always looking and open to checking out spaces.” Until that just-right place comes along, Bar Fiori provides free delivery in Central Oregon, offers wine catering for private events and is doing pop-up business around town at events such as Summer Fest, the Bend Film Festival, Craft-0 Holiday Market and First Friday.
Bar Fiori has been selected by Imbibe Magazine as one of its “Imbibe 75,” a listing of 75 businesses from around the world that are creating a positive and sustainable drinking world in 2022. “As a musician and avid record collector, I’ve taken to pairing albums and songs with the wines to give them and their winemakers a bit of personality beyond the standard descriptors and technical jargon,” says Kuther, who was born and raised in Bend and graduated from Summit High School in 2004. “After bouncing between Portland and Los Angeles to learn all things food, coffee, hospitality and, eventually, natural wine, I’ve come back to share these beautiful wines with my first home.”
Kuther created the name for his company at the suggestion of his former business partner, who Kuther describes as “full-tilt Sicilian.” He suggested the word “fiori” — which translates to “flower” in English — because it is his favorite word in Italian as well as a family name, Kuther explains. “I wanted a name that conveyed a simple, organic and worldly vibe, so ‘fiori’ made perfect sense. The name is also an example of the ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ ideal, as we are starting as an online wine shop but the ultimate goal is to open a homey, vibrant, European-style wine bar here in Bend.”
So far, business is going well and growing, Kuther says. “It’s building every day. Doing the pop-ups has been huge for exposure,” he says. “I’ve met a very wonderful and like-minded community of wine nerds here, which is incredible. The best part is sharing these wines and telling their stories and getting people excited about the ideals of natural winemaking.” He adds, “Bend is such an amazing place, and everyone has been so open-minded.”