Backstop the Presses! Neighboring Restaurant Buys Canby Herald Building to Pursue Brewery Dream

The former offices of the Canby Herald newspaper, first listed for sale less than a month ago, has been purchased by Ken and Lori Arrigotti, owners and proprietors of the Backstop Bar & Grill in downtown Canby.

The Backstop neighbors and shares a wall with the 2,780-square-foot building on Grant Street, formerly the property of Pamplin Media Group, which also owns and operates the Herald. Pamplin has unloaded several of its other newspaper office buildings this summer, including those of the Woodburn Independent, Molalla Pioneer, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune.

The property was listed for the very reasonable price of $375,000, but the seller’s insistence on a tight closing window dampened some of the early interest. It wasn’t nearly enough to scare off the Arrigottis, though, who are now in great position to widen the downtown footprint of their popular local restaurant and sports bar.

They just became owners of the property that houses the Backstop last year, but Ken admits he has had his eye on the Herald building for a while, for one very specific reason.

“My dream was always to own a brewery,” he said. “So our goal is to turn that into a brewery and another bar. But it could take a while. It could take a year, two years — I don’t know. But I had to pick up the building to make that dream come true.”

The narrow time frame also presented a challenge for potential buyers in terms of securing financing. Ken says they were able to navigate this by going through a private investor rather than a bank or other financial institution. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Because the deal came together so quickly, Ken and Lori said they have yet to put firm plans together. They plan to approach the brewery launch slowly and thoughtfully, working hand-in-hand with the city of Canby, OLCC and other agencies.

They may even keep the Herald building largely as is, leasing it out as temporary office space while they get their ducks in a row.

“We’re nowhere near ready,” he admitted. “I have a lot of homework to do.”

Most likely, the brewery would be small, producing just enough for on-premises sales. In Ken’s words: “Just brewing for ourselves.”

Ken says Pamplin’s Realtor, Bill Reif, of RE/MAX Equity Group-Canby, was great to work with.

The deal closed today. The Herald staff plans to lease a smaller space and remain in Canby.

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