New location slated to open Spring 2016
SHAWNEE – Popular wine and craft beer store Vino Bellissimo is moving to a new location with more space to increase its offerings.
The new location is roughly double the size of its current storefront at 743 Shawnee Rd, next to DeHaven’s. When it came time to expand, owners Marc and Carissa Reinicke wanted to stay close by, choosing the building most recently occupied by the Cardio Factory as their new location.
“This corridor we are currently in, with J’s [American Pub], Fat Jack’s and Mara’s, it is really becoming a growing little entertainment district,” said Marc. “So we really wanted to stay within the general vicinity [of our current location].”
Since it opened in 2009, Vino Bellissimo has seen tremendous growth. Its first store, located at 2720 Elida Rd., was 1,500 sq. ft. The current location is 2,250 sq. ft.
The new location, slated to open this Spring, is 5,000 sq. ft. It will be their fourth move in 7 years.
“The growth has been really organic. We really keep in touch with our customer base. People talk to us a lot and we spend of lot of time talking to the people that come in and we kind of grow and shape ourselves around that,” said Carissa. “The people are the driving force of how we grow or what we offer next.”
In addition to its current offerings of specialty wine and craft beer, the new Vino Bellissimo will expand its drink menu to include craft spirit cocktails.
The kitchen will be (significantly) bigger, the bar will be 25 ft., there will be a stage and a custom fabricated chandelier hanging from the 25 ft ceiling.
But one thing the new location will not change is the atmosphere its clients have become accustomed to.
“It was very important to us to keep the same feel we currently have, and that feeling is more than just rows and rows of tables,” said Marc. “You aren’t going to come in and have this restaurant or bar feeling because that’s not who we are.”
The duo credit local artist Rheuben Gibson with helping their vision become a reality.
“[Gibson] is a very well known artist and wood maker in this community and he’s really creating this space from his artistic mind. From the customized chandelier to the bar that is truly a piece of art. It is all being made from a lot of reclaimed wood and barn timbers that will have a very earth meets industrial feel to it,” said Marc.
The duo says involving the community in every aspect of Vino Bellissimo, from the food to the entertainment to the artwork, is an integral part of the business.
“It’s always been important to us. We try as often as possible to bring in people from the community to collaborate with,” said Carissa. “We constantly seek those kinds of opportunities and it was always a part of our mindset before we opened our first store.”
Marc says he doesn’t necessarily agree with local businesses who brand themselves as having the ‘big city feel.’
“We don’t want to say things like ‘you won’t feel like you’re in Lima anymore and you’ll feel like you are somewhere else,'” he said. “For us, we’ve always tried to create something that is Lima.”
This also includes the live entertainment that Vino Bellissimo has become well known for.
“We’ll have a stage inside for live music with seating around the stage. We are designing an outdoor space as well. It will have a very cohesive atmosphere and it will be exactly what people have come to expect from us,” said Marc.
To accommodate the increased foot traffic in the new location, they will be hiring additional employees. However, it takes more than knowing how to pour drinks.
“When I interview people, I always talk about the community and how important it is to us. We don’t want people representing our business that don’t want to live here or don’t appreciate all Lima has to offer,” said Carissa. “The people we employ are positive about this community and that’s been something we will always pride ourselves on.”
Carissa says they have found some neat ways to take advantage of the space and bring in some different elements to keep the ‘coziness’ at the new location.
“You’ll really have to come see it to understand what we have created,” said Marc.
The current Vino Bellissimo location will remain open until the new location at 2412 Cable Ct is ready.
If you are interested in applying for a position at the new location, contact Carissa Reinecke (419) 221-1010 for information, or send a resume to the current location at 743 Shawnee Rd., or email email@example.com.