Rhoda Williams’ dream has been about five years in the making.
Come Sept. 6, it should be a reality.
Williams is opening Ms. Rhoda’s Wine Garden on Sept. 6 and hopes the casual, cozy space at 702-B Jadwin Ave. in Richland is a hit with the Tri-Cities’ mature wine audience.
The business will cater to the 40 and older crowd and feature not just wine, but wine-infused cocktails, smoothies, spritzers and sangria. Cheesecake, light appetizers and antipasto will complement what is expected to be a predominately local wine menu.
“After working in (the wine industry) for six or more years, I realized it was something that people enjoyed, and it made them happy,” said Williams, who workedfor Safeway in Seattle before coming to the Tri-Cities. “And that’s what I’m into — making people happy.”
She can accommodate about 50 patrons and she says it has the low-key, relaxed feel of lounging in a friend’s living room — the darkness of the slate-gray walls and carpet is offset by polychrome furniture, glass-topped tables and soft track lighting. A piano is tucked into a corner and a larger dining table sits in a back room.
Al Casebere, self-described bon vivant and business mentor for Williams, said the anxiousness and anticipation of opening in less than a month is akin to a skydiver standing at the edge of a plane’s open door and preparing to take the leap.
“It’s either let go and jump, or you just remain there,” he said.
The grand opening is at 5 p.m. Sept. 6. Jazz singer Mary Lou Gnoza will perform Friday and Saturday nights.
The 21-and-over venue is to be open Tuesday through Saturday.
-- Drew Foster: 509-582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org