When a new, local and walkable business moves into a small neighborhood most people in the community get excited about it. It’s especially joyful when that new small business is a place where neighbors can congregate for food, drink and socializing.
Of course, there is not much social gathering happening these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic which makes this story about the opening of RidgeWood Bottle & Tap all the more interesting.
The new home for RidgeWood is in the space next to Red Mill Burgers, formerly occupied by Starbucks. Owners Stuart & Robin planned to have their doors open in mid March which was inevitably delayed by Washington State’s stay at home order.
Stressful times indeed, but determined to move forward they did not let the unexpected challenges stop them in their tracks. Stuart & Robin’s “one foot in front of the other” attitude provides an uplifting sentiment that makes the unknown more palatable if not inspirational.
Stuart taking a positive look at the crisis puts it this way “The extra time has given us the opportunity to work out the details, that frankly, we would have missed if we tried to do a grand opening back in March.” They also feel fortunate that their landlord, Red Mill Burgers, who owns the building, views the two businesses as “in it together” both looking out to do what’s best for their businesses and the community.
With perseverance and a “rolling with the changes” attitude, RidgeWood opened their street front garage door in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, on Cinco De Mayo at noon! Implementing social distancing markers combined with plenty of parking they were safely ready to open their door to online pick up orders and walk ups.
Since May 5th they have steadily been selling yummy beer & thirst quenching cider to customers. Robin says the response has been very positive and the neighbors are excited about RidgeWood’s presence in Phinney. Even during the build out, they could count on, seeing friendly faces curiously looking through their windows checking in on the construction progress. It felt great to see folks literally following along with our growth and even stop for a moment to introduce themselves. Robin says “We feel like we have become part of a community that is cheering us on.”
An online shopping presence was not in the original plan for RidgeWood. A neighborhood gathering place to host families, friends and neighbors was the original vision. A lively, indoor and outdoor environment where everyone is encouraged to bring outside food, into the taproom, to pair up with cold brews. Stuart and Robin’s vision of a community gathering spot is still very much part of the plan, as well as, looking at additional ideas that will help their business thrive and contribute to the well being of the community.
Who are Stuart and Robin
Both are kids from the neighborhood who loved the community so much that it is a dream come true to open a neighborhood joint in Phinney Ridge. Stop by RidgeWood’s garage door on your next trip outside and say hello. They love to talk and want to get to know you too!
As for the brews? You can rely on a wide variety of fresh tastes and always something new to try.