Downtown wine shop to open
BY COREY DAVIS
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
A young professional couple is using their expertise in the wine industry to start a business in downtown Rocky Mount.
Ryan Hicks, 35, and Sarah Hicks, 33, will be opening a small high-end wine retail boutique and bar in Station Square called Bin & Barrel Wine Bar and Bottles. The Hicks said they’re targeting sometime in November before Thanksgiving for the wine bar’s opening.
The opening should also be around the time when the anticipated multi-million dollar, 165,000-square-foot Rocky Mount Event Center is up and running.
“With the Rocky Mount Event Center, that’s going to bring more people downtown and more foot traffic,” Ryan Hicks said. “We just wanted to be a part of that process and help drive more traffic to Station Square and to other places downtown.”
Bin & Barrel Wine Bar and Bottles will occupy 719 square feet of space in the courtyard area of Station Square at 177 Nash St. The wine boutique will have some inside and outside seating in the courtyard.
Sarah Hicks said Bin & Barrel Wine Bar and Bottles will have more than 400 wine labels ranging anywhere from California’s wine country, Oregon, Washington, Finger Lakes in New York, North Carolina and internationally like Italian, French and South African wine selections.
“We’re going to have a good mix of everything and our prices aren’t going to be ridiculous,” she said. “We’re doing everything from your everyday wines, high-end wines to your special occasion wines.”
Ryan Hicks said the selection of wine at Bin & Barrel Wine Bar and Bottles will be unique from what people pick up off the shelf of a local supermarket.
“We’re trying to stay away from that same grocery store wine,” he said. “We’re hoping to attract people that like the idea of experiencing something new and maybe trying something they haven’t had before. We’re going to have a variety of wines by the glass, both red and white, that will change weekly.”
Station Square owner Ben Braddock said Bin & Barrel Wine Bar and Bottles will certainly enhance and continue the growth taking place at the property that consists of storefronts on Main Street, offices on Church Street, courtyard shops on Nash Street and Trax Coffee Bar that opened earlier this year in Station Square.
“For us, whenever we have a space that comes open, we try to brainstorm a little bit about what will be another component or contribution because we aren’t trying to have too many redundant things,” he said. “We’re trying to have different businesses and activities that complement each other. With the courtyard, we wanted to have a retail component and we wanted to be something that’s a destination. The idea of a wine bar we thought would be very natural and a very good fit for the courtyard space.”
Opening a wine bar in Rocky Mount is certainly in the wheel house for the Hicks as both have years of experience in the wine industry. Ryan Hicks, who is a native of Rocky Mount and works as a chef consultant for US Foods in Zebulon, graduated from Johnson & Wales Culinary Program in Charlotte. He later moved to the heart of wine country in California and is a level II or certified sommelier.
Sarah Hicks, who is the development officer at Nash UNC Health Care Foundation, grew up in Seattle, Wash. She graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality business management. The couple met in Sonoma, Calif. when she was working at a restaurant.
Sarah moved on from the restaurant and started planning events for Duckhorn Wine Co. at their three winery locations. The couple got married in 2012 and decided to move to the East Coast. Sarah also ran an upscale wine shop in South Carolina for two years. The Hicks have resided in Rocky Mount with their 2-year-old son Payson since 2015.
Ryan Hicks said Sarah will eventually leave her job at Nash UNC Health Care Foundation and run the day-to-day operations of Bin & Barrel Wine Bar and Bottles. He added the wine bar will offer a quarterly wine club where people will have the option to select two, six or 12 bottles that will be sent to them.
“This isn’t new for us and we both bring a lot of knowledge within the wine industry,” he said.
Residents can get an opportunity to sample choices of wine from Bin & Barrel Wine Bar and Bottles during an open art exhibit at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Station Square. People can also visit the website at www.binandbarrelwine.com.