A pairing of coffee and wine? Why not, at local shop

Alice Evans, left, and Nancy Wszalek sit beside Charlene the mascot chicken at Downhill Coffee. They are turning the business into Downhill Coffee and Wine Bar.

Starting next month, patrons of a hillside coffee house should be able to purchase beverages offering a punch of something more than just caffeine.

With the help of Riponite Alice Evans, Downhill Coffee will become Downhill Coffee & Wine Bar sometime in July.

Featuring extended hours a few days a week and an expanded menu of food and treats, it aims to offer the same comfortable atmosphere but with even more reason to visit.

Creation of the business, though, was one of those lemonade-from-lemons moments for Evans.

“Alice had been working at America [restaurant], and then they closed,” said Nancy Wszalek, owner of Downhill Coffee, adding Evans was talking about this with her during one of many visits for coffee. “She was talking about all the people there who came in and drank wine.”

They talked about how people might enjoy “a cozy place” to sit down for a glass of wine now that America is gone, Evans explained.

“Maybe it comes from [my hometown of] Seattle, where good food and good wine is removed from the white tablecloth scene,” she said. “I just said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice [to have something like that]?’”

“It was just like, ‘Let’s do a wine bar!’” Wszalek added.

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