Friday, February 23, 2007
GRANDVIEW - After months of hard work, the transformation is complete: The Vineyard, an espresso and deli on one side and banquet hall on the other, will open its doors this Saturday.
The changes are astonishing.
For the past few months, the blinds have been closed while construction worker Leo Hernandez toiled away to transform the building, which is owned by brothers Mike and Jon Bren.
Those blinds will be lifted this Saturday morning at 8 a.m., revealing what looks like a high end, cozy hangout for coffee, breakfast nibbles and lunch. The Vineyard's interior design is more reminiscent of a Seattle coffeehouse, which is exactly what the Brens had in mind.
"One of my personal goals when I was lucky enough to serve as Grandview's mayor and as a downtown business owner was to do something that would help the downtown area," said Mike.
"I am fortunate to have a brother who got caught up in and was supportive of this effort," he added.
The building, located at 150 Division Street, was formerly housed by Quicktel, a computer business. When the brothers bought the place from the city, they did so under the name Hometown Enterprises, LLC. Both men grew up in Grandview.
The Brens ripped out the old carpet, laid hardwood floors in the espresso area and carpeting in the banquet hall, with the exception of the dance floor, which is hardwood as well. In the back of the banquet hall, there's a kitchen designed specifically for caterers.
The Brens wanted to provide two key things: a downtown business that would be a hub for friends to enjoy coffee, conversation and a meal, and a banquet hall to rent for special occasions, even occasions where wine would be poured.
Of the espresso and deli, Bren says, "It is going to be a special place with happy and friendly baristas that will do such a good job, you will hate to leave."
The menu includes soups of the day, sandwiches, grilled paninis, and salads. And, of course, espresso.
One of the brothers' goals going in was to inspire revitalization downtown. Says Mike, "I am hoping that our activity will maybe motivate someone else to look at downtown Grandview as a great place to open a new business."
The business is starting out with four employees, manager Christine Sykes and baristas Janette Atilano, Cheriese Rhode and Nancy K. Franco. "We are starting with four (employees) and hope that we will need to add more as business increases," Mike said.
The Vineyard, open from 7 to 4 on weekdays and 8 to 2 on weekends, will likely celebrate its grand opening in a few weeks. In the meantime, the new business will take flight and routines developed. "We know that we don't mind being over staffed to assure that we are doing everything possible to make sure that customers not only get what they expect and more, but have an enjoyable time."
The baristas will also deliver orders.
So how does it feel to, at long last, to know the doors are opening Saturday morning at 8 a.m.?
"It has been like waiting for Christmas to come. Both Jon and I are really excited about it."