Shea Hagan and Rebecca Ogden always knew they wanted to run their own coffee roaster, they just didn’t know when it would happen. The couple drafted a business plan years ago and have been waiting for the right opportunity.
That opportunity came a few months ago when they purchased The Ridge Wine Bar from Jenny Schwartz. Hagan and Ogden have remodeled the 1,700-square-foot space at 1017 N. State St. and will reopen the business under a new name, Redlight Wine Bar and Coffee Roaster, on New Year’s Eve.
The couple hadn’t planned on purchasing an existing business, especially a wine bar, but all of the pieces fell into place, Ogden said.
“It was a series of crazy coincidences,” she said. “The big thing was if we could put a coffee roaster in the back.”
The idea to offer coffee and wine developed over the years as the couple took their enthusiasm for coffee and applied it to wine, said Hagan, who has 17 years of experience in the coffee industry and used to roast and do quality assurance for Moka Joe’s until it sold earlier this year.
“One of the things we like about coffee and wine is there’s always something to learn, always something new,” Hagan said, explaining how the growing conditions and processing techniques of wine and coffee affect the flavor profile.
Redlight will open the wine bar portion of the business with a New Year’s Eve party featuring bands Falling Upstairs and Casus Belli. Doors open at 5 p.m. and there’s a $5 cover charge.
Starting Monday Jan. 2, the wine bar will be open six days a week (closed Sundays) from 4 p.m. until about midnight and feature live music three or four nights a week, Ogden said.
With a 5-kilo coffee roaster now installed in the back room, Hagan will start roasting coffee in January to sell in the shop and to wholesale accounts. He plans to get an espresso machine later in the month and open the cafe side of the business in February.
“I’m really into single-origin coffees,” he said. “We’ll have five different coffees available for pour over, french press or espresso shots.”
The space has high ceilings and brightly colored walls that will feature a new artist every month to coincide with the Downtown Art Walk on the first Friday of each month, Ogden said. The furniture and decor is simple and classy — part den and part European café.
“We want it to be a place where people can come and feel comfortable,” Ogden said.