Redmond’s Eqwine mobile wine bar has found itself a stable.
Couple Kris Hakkila and Janel Maurer started the wine bar in a horse trailer a few years ago. They brought a variety of wines to both public events like festivals and private gatherings.
But now they’ve hitched up to a permanent location in an old house turned offices on Fourth Street downtown.
Since buying the property in May, they’ve been clearing out walls, putting in a bar and installing relaxing furniture in the 1,100 square foot building.
“We want to provide a place where people can hang out and enjoy some good wine,” Maurer said.
They initially considered building the wine bar at their home, but learned it would cost more than $40,000 to hook into the city sewer system. So they looked downtown.
“We saw that it was within urban renewal boundaries, and it has a lot of character,” Maurer said.
The building was wall-to wall carpet when they bought it, but, luckily, Hakkila installs hardwood floors in his day job. He knew how to handle the task of removing lots of particle board.
“We had to demo it all the way to the sub-flooring,” he said.
They hope to open soon, but have some upgrades like an Americans With Disabilities Act-accessible ramp and final approval from the health department and city to complete. They do have their license to sell wine, beer and hard cider.
“We just have a few last-minute things to finish up,” Maurer said.
Eqwine plans to offer wines from smaller vineyards that aren’t readily available in grocery stores. A twist is their plans to offer multiple wines from the same area for a month or two, then rotate those out for wines from a different region.
They initially plan to offer 20 total varieties, five each from four wineries in the Hood River area, then bring in wines from the Willamette Valley before switching to wine from Walla Walla, Washington.
They might revisit areas, but not necessarily with the same wines.
“The next time we go to Hood River, we might look for four different wineries to represent,” Maurer said. “We’ll constantly be bringing in new wineries.”
Wine will sell for between $7 and $12 a glass, with a happy hour featuring $5 glasses. They expect the wine bar to be open every day except Wednesday. It will include outdoor seating, as well as a refrigerator selling beer, wine and cider to go.
They even hope to have live music, Maurer said.
The wine bar got its horse-themed name when Maurer came across the 1976 Miley horse trailer when she and her daughter were looking for a trailer to use for horses on their property. While the trailer wouldn’t work for her horses, Maurer thought it would be great to serve wine from.
“We knew we needed to do something; it was so cute,” she said.
The horse trailer will continue to be used to sell wine at events like Music on the Green and the Bacon, Brew & Balloons festival.