Tri-City business taps into self-serve wine, beer market

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When two Tri-Citians walked into a Boise bar two years ago, they weren’t expecting to walk out with plans to start a new business.

But what Jason Sadler and Kendra Guzek saw in Idaho in 2015 amazed them: a self-service wine bar in which customers could try wines using a pre-paid card that slid into a machine that provided 1-, 3- or 5-ounce pours.

“I said, ‘Why don’t we do this in Wine Country?’ ” Sadler said.

And that’s how it happened: Sadler and Guzek opened Tri-Cities Tap & Barrel at 112 Keene Road in Richland, across from the Albertsons parking lot on Gage Boulevard, in November.

Sadler and Guzek had the wine experience. They both worked at Bookwalter Winery in Richland for at least five years, with Sadler working as director of retail operations, and Guzek as director of marketing sales.

From the time they decided to launch their “urban casual wine and beer experience” to the day the business opened took 11 months and two weeks. “Our goal was to open within a year. And we did,” Sadler said.

They also added a third partner along the way, Dan Vargo.

“He owns Vargo Construction, and he has an eye for interior design,” Guzek said.

The interior design is sleek, from the large bar table to the wine boxes and outdoor deck.

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Jeffrey Morrow

Jeffrey Morrow

Jeff Morrow retired from the Tri-City Herald in 2015. Jeff spent 30 years on the Herald’s sports staff, including the last 19 as the sports editor. Although he likes to write, Jeff still finds time to travel, golf and take care of his family’s three dogs. He and his wife of 31 years, Connie, have two adult daughters.

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