Oregon's non-profit pub gives proceeds to charities

May 15, 2013 at 4:32 PM
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PORTLAND, Ore., May 15 (UPI) -- An Oregon man said he has officially opened the doors of what he is billing as the world's first non-profit pub.

Ryan Saari said it took nearly three years to get the Oregon Public House up and running in Portland, but it opened Friday without any debt with the help of volunteers and donors, KPTV, Portland, reported Wednesday.

"It has taken thousands of hours, hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteers to make this what it is," Saari said.

He said his unique business model allows customers to choose from one of eight local charities when they order their drinks and about $1 from each purchase will go to the chosen organization.

"Anytime you place an order, you get to choose where you would like your individual proceeds to go from a list of the charities we're partnered with," Saari said.

"We've been open for literally an hour or two," Saari said Friday. "We're figuring out our systems, and all our staff is here. So we're all getting trained together."

He said last Friday was a soft opening ahead of the planned grand opening this coming Friday. He said he hopes the project inspires others.

"Our long-term goal would be that this becomes something that is replicated all over," Saari said. "Where people say, 'That's a great idea. I want to do it, too. How can I be involved? How can I start one of these in my neighborhood or my city?'"

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