2 new businesses plus bakery expansion pause opening plans

Three businesses are anxious to open their doors in Richland’s Parkway, following months of construction and delays due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Moniker, a high-end craft cocktail bar, will serve as the anchor tenant, occupying about half of the building at 702 The Parkway. Wine Social, a wine bar offering retail sales, and Ethos Bakery’s second location will lease space in the building, too.

Work on the new building, bankrolled by investors with Prospere Ventures and built by Booth & Sons Construction, began in late summer 2019 following demolition of a former World War II-era building that was home to many businesses in its time, including The Brass Door restaurant. It is south of Frost Me Sweet Bistro & Bakery, near the fountain, straddling The Parkway and George Washington Way.

Prospere investor Casey Stratton said he remains “quite impressed with the timeline,” for construction, considering the challenges presented by erecting a 5,500-square-foot commercial building during a pandemic.

The original project was valued at $700,000, according to the building permit issued in 2019. A second permit issued in January for tenant improvements in the 2,500-square-foot Moniker space was valued at $250,000.

Stratton declined to share overall costs for the construction, saying that investors “made decisions that were not (return on investment)-driven as an effort to create a Richland downtown we want to live in.”

As the project wraps up, Stratton said his group of six investors is “always looking to acquire more property on or around The Parkway.”

Moniker

Meagan, Erin and Tyler Stevens

The craft cocktail bar Moniker is nearly complete and had targeted a mid-July opening. Owners now say it’ll likely be later this summer. They’re excited about moving into a modified Phase 1 of the state’s staggered reopening plan, saying it’s a nice way for businesses to open up in a safe way. The phase allows restaurants to offer outdoor seating at 50% of existing outdoor capacity.

On a recent Saturday, the Moniker team was making and photographing cocktails in anticipation of its eventual opening.

The menu will showcase seasonal, rotating cocktails, as well as limited wine and beer options, and small plates of food with a Pan-Asian flare.

The business is headed up by newcomers to the restaurant industry, Tyler and Erin Stevens, who are married, and Tyler’s sister, Meagan Stevens. Each has a role, with Tyler, a self-described “cocktail nerd” focusing on drinks, Meagan on food and Erin managing the back of the house.

They plan to highlight in-person experiences, serving up memorable cocktails smoked under glass, served in unique drinkware or topped with egg white foam.

They likely won’t offer to-go options.

“This is not an experience that takes itself out very well,” Tyler said. “We can probably figure out ways to deliver something that’s really exciting to people in a takeout format, but we would have to compromise on things that we were really excited to bring to the community.”

At full capacity, Moniker will seat about 40 people in 1,500 square feet. The Stevenses say this is “not typical” because it will feature more furniture pieces and benches than traditional tables and chairs.

Moniker plans to offer five cocktails at a time that will pair with the tapas prepared by Meagan.

“An encyclopedia (menu) could detract from the experience,” Erin said.

They may rotate through menus fairly quickly once open, as they have already prepared a year’s worth while waiting to open their doors.

Drinks be priced at about $12 each, with about seven small plates available at a time.

“We are passionate but don’t want to be exclusive,” Erin said. “We want to build community in this space.”

When Moniker opens, it plans to operate Thursdays through Sundays to start. At full capacity, the family expects to hire up to eight staff members.

“We want people to have this be their full-time, sustainable job,” Erin said.

Wine Social

Marc and Kaitlin
Newman

Two longtime veterans of the hospitality industry with a strong belief that “people deserve to be served” are poised to open Wine Social on the south side of the building.

Owners Marc and Kaitlin Newman are ready to put their decades of experience to work in the new wine bar.

“We’re excited about all things Washington wine,” Marc said.

The couple moved to Richland from New York.

“We feel there’s no other place globally where you can find wines like this, with the elegance that is offered,” Marc said.

A military veteran, Marc previously managed The Kitchen at Barnard Griffin in Richland and recently realized his dream of a wine brand with the release of a Red Mountain vintage called The New Man. He believes there’s something to be said about the atmosphere and service that comes with your enjoyment of a beverage, rather than the drink itself.

“Bud Light tastes the same wherever you go. It’s the experience,” he said.

The Newmans want their customers’ experience to be “super comfortable” with elegant lighting, in a “sleek, modern” space.

They want the wine bar to be attractive for all social interactions, whether a book club, date night or business meeting.

Price points of the “globally inspired and regionally sourced” wines are described as “approachable and attractive” and will be offered by the glass.

“I want to be a place where people can stick around for two or three glasses without breaking the bank,” Marc said.

Charcuterie will be the only food offered, but guests may enjoy meals on site from neighboring businesses, including Moniker and Ethos.

About a third of the 1,500-square-foot space will be dedicated to a private event space for meetings or for private gatherings.

At full capacity the establishment could seat 100.

“Less is more,” Marc said. “We want it to be a return-worthy experience.”

Retail wine sales, including sparkling wines, also will be offered, hoping to attract customers as the Parkway area becomes increasingly walkable and inviting to rivergoers, farmers market shoppers and those visiting other neighboring businesses, including those planned for the nearby Park Place development across busy George Washington Way.

Originally targeting a May opening, the couple now hopes to welcome customers in September. 

“We want this community to thrive,” Kaitlin said. “We want to keep our 20-somethings here, and we’ve got to offer them these amenities.”

The Newmans are likely to hire up to five people and expect to be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, but will adjust operating hours based on market demand.

Ethos Bakery & Café

Angela Kora

The owners of Ethos Bakery & Café are excited to expand to a second Richland location.

Co-owner Angela Kora said The Parkway cafe will include a full-scale coffee shop with all the breads and pastries found at the 2150 Keene Road café, as well as grab-and-go soups and sandwiches.

It’s a similar format to what they’re offering from a booth at the Pasco Farmers Market.

During typical operations, the Parkway Ethos will offer seating up to 20, as well as outdoor tables.

Kora and co-owner Scot Newell want to keep Ethos as a “third place” that encourages community and conversation, with the first and second places being home or work.

Without an on-site kitchen at The Parkway, food will be prepared at the Keene Road location. Only espresso and cold-pressed juice, called Ethos Elixir, will be produced at The Parkway.

Kora and Newell still are deciding on an official name for the new location, but it will definitely include Ethos in the title, they said.

As the region works to emerge from Covid-19 restrictions, the Ethos entrepreneurs are waiting.

“A best case scenario would be opening in the middle to end of August, but I think a more realistic date is early September,” Kora said.

They plan to be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

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