A vision for a gathering place for wine lovers
The owners of a wine store wanted a place to offer more than just wine for sale. Their vision was to create a gathering place for people to learn about and enjoy wine, buy wine-related accessories, socialize and develop a personal connection with both the store and other wine lovers.
Highlighting the fun and social side of wine
The owners planned activities including wine appreciation classes, wine tastings, “meet the winemaker” events, singles nights, murder mystery games, bunko, and live music. The goal was to attract younger, novice wine drinkers in addition to sophisticated connoisseurs. The challenge was to build an effective space for merchandising, sales, and events which also offered the right ambiance for the romance of wine.
Guests are transported to Old World ambiance
From the moment a customer enters the store, located in a small neighborhood shopping center, they are transported to the atmosphere of an Old World wine cellar. Lighting enhances the mood and warm, earthy colors dominate.
Warmer than most retail spaces, the lighting helps relax the visitor. Wine alcoves capped by Gothic arches, curved doorways and arches suggest renaissance Europe. Spotlighting brings attention to art and useful information.
The brown, stained concrete floor adds warmth and complements the wine cellar atmosphere. An exposed ceiling opens the space, while everything above the walls was painted black to “disappear.”
A small functional office for the owner, including a refrigerator, sink and commercial dish-washer, is out of sight of customers. A small, unisex bath with water-efficient fixtures is tucked away discretely in the hallway past the office.
Commercial building remodeling requires a tight budget and timeframe
Until the lease is signed, construction can’t begin. Yet once the lease is signed, the business owner is paying rent, so being open for business quickly is essential. In a small retail business, startup costs are taxing, so many design decisions were driven by budget.
Yet the end result does not feel compromised—it’s a beautiful space which feels as intimate and romantic as an old European wine bar while delivering on the goal of growing sales of wine and merchandise.
Before and After
From a basic box to an Old World wine cellar atmosphere; a space to host events; a retail area for merchandising; and a place to relax and enjoy the romance of wine.