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Le Pigeon’s Wine Director Is Opening a Sister Wine Shop in Northwest Portland

Born out of his pandemic cellar sales program, Andy Fortgang and business partner Sergio Licea will launch online sales just in time to help you round out your Thanksgiving menu.

Another restaurateur’s pandemic side hustle is officially spinning off into a permanent business, just in time to help you with beverage pairings for Thanksgiving.

Andy Fortgang (co-owner and wine director at Le Pigeon and Canard) and Sergio Licea (former wine director at Little Bird Bistro) are scheduled to open Flor Wines Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 825 NW Glisan St.

Sure, that’s cutting it really close to a big holiday centered on food and drink, but fortunately, online sales will launch five days earlier, so you’ll have more time to peruse three different Thanksgiving packages available for in-store pickup Nov. 20-23. Local delivery may be another option, depending on where you live.

The idea for the shop was born during the pandemic, like so many new food-driven projects, when indoor dining restrictions limited guest capacity, forcing operators to adapt or temporarily close. When Fortgang and his business partner, chef Gabriel Rucker, had to halt normal service at Le Pigeon, Fortgang began a cellar sales program at the East Burnside Street restaurant. No longer able to pour table side and converse with guests about the business’s extensive bottle library, the wine director relied on that new retail model to stay connected to his customers.

“Something that kept me energized and excited during the middle of the pandemic was the opportunity to outfit people with the best wines to enjoy at home through our cellar sales,” Fortgang stated in a press release, “whether they were doing take home meals from Le Pigeon, cooking a special dish and looking for the perfect pairing, or just making the best out of a really tough time.”

Fortgang and Licea say that you can think of Flor as an extension of the wine lists at Le Pigeon and Canard. It’s leaning heavily French, but there will always be offerings from other regions—many of them hard to find elsewhere. The two plan to shift the 1,700-square-foot shop’s inventory with the seasons, and once it opens, you can expect a hefty selection of Burgundy, bolder whites and reds, as well as Champagne for the holiday season.

Starting next year, Flor hopes to add wine clubs, classes and events to its agenda, and begin offering glass pours for shoppers.

“When Andy and I began brainstorming about a bottle shop, we both wanted to approach things differently, more from a restaurant hospitality perspective,” adds Licea. “Like an old bookshop, at Flor we want people to explore, to discover, to learn, or be surprised.”