Everyone knows that when opening a business things never go according to plan and you always spend more than you budgeted. I wish I could say my adventure was different. My original goal was to have Nectar Tasting Room open with a soft launch by November 11 but as it stands now, we probably won’t even have lights, furniture, or a bar installed by then. I’m still keeping an optimistic outlook for a soft launch on Friday, November 26 and an all out marketing assault and opening party on December 3.
After a full 10 days of delays and minimal work we’re finally starting to see progress toward the original design. A few design elements have changed along the way and two significant interruptions bumped us out a few days.
- My designer had to remove himself from the project to focus on some other items in his life
- A pesky little thing called permits and city red tape held up plumbing and electrical work.
While it never seems that anyone has the same level of urgency as I do, I’m very impressed with the workmanship and speed that contractors are working at. In spite of the permit hold ups, plenty of work that didn’t require permits continued. In the video you’ll see more of what has been happening. This week’s big turning points include:
- Paint on the walls
- Removal of old carpet in the basement
- Flooring begins to go down
- iPad menu development
- WSLCB license approval from 3 of the 5 wineries
- Merchant services account set up
- Some lighting and furniture ordered
- Hundreds of little details ironed out
Spokane Welcomes Us With Open Arms
I’m very excited to share two very cool developments that speak to the awesome community that we have in Spokane.
Shortly after I announced the Nectar Tasting Room project, I was contacted by Jeremy Hansen of Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie. Sante is one of the hottest new restaurants in Spokane and Chef/Owner Jeremy Hansen is getting tons of well deserved recognition. Sante is on the same block as Nectar Tasting Room and Jeremy reached out to not only welcome us to the neighborhood but will be hosting us on November 5 for a special wine pairing dinner featuring five wines from the participating wineries. Details on time and pricing can be found here! Please stop by for dinner and enjoy a sneak sip of Nectar Tasting Room.
Another business with a collaborative eye is Wine Styles in North Spokane. Owners Mike and Deedee McMahon reached out and invited Nectar Tasting Room up to promote our opening, get this, as part of their anniversary celebration! How cool is that?!? This is a business that truly gets collaboration and partnership. While we can’t legally pour and sell the Nectar Tasting Room wine at Wine Styles, I will be up there next weekend (still undecided on 11/12 or 11/13) helping during their weekly wine tasting and doing a little wine education. If you ask nicely, I might have a secret stash for you as well. Stop by Wine Styles from 6-9pm (8801 N. Indian Trail Rd) and say, “hey!”
Partnership Announced With LaunchPadINW
Shortly after I began this blog in 2009, I was referred to LaunchPadINW as a place to connect with local business people. This connection may have been one of the three best decisions I’ve made in the last year. Bill Kalivas, Allen Battle and the rest of the staff at LaunchPadINW have been instrumental in the success of Nectar Wine Blog. Early in the summer we began talking about sharing space and developing a collaborative partnership that would help each business. LaunchPadINW has grown to over 3,000 members and is a leader in business development classes and education in Spokane. Their weekly classes and quarterly networking events are well attended and people are using LaunchPadINW as a place to develop business connections and bridge virtual interactions, through Facebook and Twitter, into real business revenue.
LaunchpadINW and Nectar Tasting Room are moving in to the same building. With a total of 8,000 square feet of rented space, Nectar Tasting Room and LaunchPadINW are building out a partnership of future success in Spokane. Stay tuned for more information on this partnership and feel free to stop by the new digs at 120 N. Stevens. LaunchPadINW has moved in to the third floor as construction progresses in the basement and first floor.
12 Oct 2010
Welcome to a sneak peek of Nectar Tasting Room. Last week I announced the upcoming opening of a wine tasting room in downtown Spokane. Five Washington wineries will share a 2000 square foot space as their satellite tasting room. The lease has been signed, the wineries have been selected and now the journey begins.
There are three questions everyone asks once they hear of the new venture. Where is it? When are you going to open? What wineries are involved? The first I can answer with absolute certainty. The location is 120 N. Stevens right on the corner of Main and Stevens across the street from the Parkade and Sushi.com. We’re 1 block from Riverfront Park, 2 blocks from the INB Performing Arts Center, and on the same block as Cyrus O’Leary’s, Sante Restaurant, and Huppins. About 40,000 cars drive by the location daily. The space used to be the home of the Bridal Collections.
When are we going to open? Well, that depends. Each winery has to apply for their tasting room license. The process takes four weeks and is just beginning this week. Delays in that process would delay the opening. There is also the little matter of the build out and decorating. Today I receive the final drawings and meet with the contractor regarding the necessary changes. Floor samples have been chosen, paint swatches are selected, bank accounts are opened, credit lines are full and the checks seem to be flying out the door. Today’s video gives you a sneak peek. Each week, I’ll give you the progress report so you can follow along! We’re still on track for a mid to late November opening.
What are the wineries involved? That, I know…but you’ll have to wait to find out until the 10/19 update. The main reason is that contracts are still being finalized. Stay tuned for the weekly progress reports for news and building development.
04 Oct 2010
Four years ago I told my wife, “I want to open a wine and coffee bar,” a combination of retail wine, wine by the glass, and Starbucks. Money in the morning, money in the evening, a business model that combines the two things I love! While not quite that exact same vision, today marks the biggest announcement and biggest adventure I’ve embarked on.
Last year, I started this blog with the intention of reaching out to wine lovers in the Spokane area for an eventual business opening. I distinctly remember saying, “If I can open a business in a few years with 200-300 people that know who I am, I’ll be way better off than the guy starting from scratch.” Over the last 11 months, I’ve been blown away by the amazing local and national support of DrinkNectar.com. It is because of you, that I am excited to announce the next steps.
In November, Nectar Tasting Room will open in Downtown Spokane. Five Washington wineries will share one space offering thirty wines in one satellite tasting room. Over the next six weeks you’ll see several changes on this site.
- Branding will change from DrinkNectar.com to Nectar Tasting Room and Nectar Wine Blog (links to previous posts will remain intact) Links from nectartastingroom.com and nectarwineblog.com will redirect to one site.
- A new template will be introduced that will separate postings related to the tasting room and other wine blog posts
- Daily posts will continue around wine reviews, wine business, and general wine topics
- Spokane wine event news will move to www.spokanewinemagazine.com; As part of the Spokane wine scene, Nectar Tasting Room will promote and support all wine activities in Spokane
- As contracts are signed, I’ll reveal the five participating wineries
November 11, 2009, friends on Twitter and Facebook welcomed me to the virtual world. One year later, I ask your continued support as I embark on this new venture. You can help be a brand ambassador by sharing this announcement on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you! Please stay tuned as I share the progress and adventure of opening a brick and mortar business. Can someone go from nothing, to wine blogger, to successful wine business in a year? I’m counting on it!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FIVE WASHINGTON STATE WINERIES TO OPEN SATELLITE TASTING ROOM IN DOWNTOWN SPOKANE
Spokane is home to 18 quality wineries that include some of the states oldest, Latah Creek and Arbor Crest. The region’s continued thirst for wine has encouraged the recent growth of 5 new wineries in the last four years. Growing wine interest has generated attention in Spokane among wineries across the state.
“Spokane has established itself as a wine tasting destination,” says Josh Wade of Nectar Wine Blog (aka DrinkNectar.com) and creator of Spokane Wine Magazine. “The addition of other regional wineries will enhance the wine experience for local residents and increase the spotlight on the quality Spokane wine producers.” The 2000 square foot space will be a place to taste wine and also enjoy wine by the glass. Nectar Tasting Room will be open Thursday through Saturday and plans on live music for the weekends. “This will be a unique wine tasting room experience with iPads as menus, a comfortable urban vibe, and activities that promote interactive wine education as an extension of the participating winery’s main location,” says owner Josh Wade.
Final negotiations are still in progress but wineries from Walla Walla, Red Mountain, Lake Chelan, Tri-Cities, and Woodinville are joining in. Wade is working with local restaurant designer Josh Hissong to build out the space and expects the tasting room to open in mid to late November.
Josh built his business model over the last year strictly using social media sites Twitter and Facebook. The DrinkNectar.com wine blog has been viewed nearly 100,000 times in the last year, with a strong emphasis on promoting the area wine scene, now at a national level. The site is among the top wine blogs in the country in traffic and engagement. With the upcoming changes, DrinkNectar.com is becoming Nectar Wine Blog and will house the information for the tasting room, national wine news, and ongoing wine and social media education.