Two wine shops arrive in downtown Bellingham

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 19, 2013 

Retailtipsheet Vinostrology

Katie Bechkowiak sets up the wine bar at Vinostrology on East Holly Street in Bellingham Thursday, May 22, 2013. The new wine bar will have a grand opening Wednesday, May 22.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

Wine lovers now have two more options to find that special bottle in downtown Bellingham.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, Katie Bechkowiak will open Vinostrology Wine Lounge & Merchant at 120 W. Holly St., in the former Bandito's Burritos space. The wine lounge will have five wine stations where customers can taste different varieties and hang out.

Earlier this month, Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants opened at 19 Prospect St., near Old Town Café. The wine shop offers a variety of bottles produced locally and around the world, particularly from the smaller, overlooked producers, said Ted Seifert, who partnered with Diane Jones to open the shop.

At Vinostrology, the goal is to have something for everyone that they can taste and buy by the glass or by the bottle. Bechkowiak plans to use the window seats that were popular at Bandito's, but the rest of the space has a decidedly different look, including a wood bar and subdued paint colors on the walls.

Bechkowiak has been in the wine business for 15 years and even had a blog that included tongue-in-cheek posts about wine and astrology, comparing personalities to types of wine, which was the basis for the new business name.

Seifert and Jones also have experience in the wine industry, and they saw an opportunity to run a business that's not corporate-driven, allowing them to respond more quickly to customer requests. Seifert said they want to appeal to broad audience, from college students to seniors.

"In Europe, people consume wine at every income level," he said. "They know it's a healthier beverage."

Seifert said they plan to focus on selling wine in bottles, but the store will also be a gallery, with plenty of local art. They also plan to have public wine tastings Thursdays and Saturdays.

Vinostrology will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Details about the wine lounge can be found on Facebook or by calling 360-656-6817.

Seifert & Jones is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Details can be found on its Facebook page or by calling 360-393-3271.

OTHER TIDBITS

• A tenant improvement application has been submitted to put a new Starbucks into Bellis Fair mall. According to the permit, it will go into a kiosk space.

Panda Express had sign permit applications approved as it gets ready to open in the Bellis Fair food court area.

Subway is now open at the Regal Barkley Village Stadium 16 movie theater building.

Guitar Center is scheduled to open in Bellingham on Thursday, May 30. The music store is going into 3960 Meridian St., Suite 101, near DeWaard & Bode.

• More that 25 vendors will participate in this season's Bellingham Farmers Market in Fairhaven, held on Wednesdays starting June 5 and going through Sept. 25. The market runs from noon to 5 p.m. at Fairhaven Village Green, near Village Books.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Business blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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