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Couple buys wine, music bar Imbibe

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Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013 9:05 am

MOSES LAKE - Chuck and Rani Tudor were definitely considered regulars at Imbibe in downtown Moses Lake.

"It was kind of our hangout," Rani Tudor said. "We would always meet our friends there to have a glass of wine and enjoy the atmosphere."

So as loyal patrons of the Third Avenue wine bar for many years, Tudor said she and her husband were disappointed when previous owner Cynthia Dano announced she would be closing the venue if she couldn't find a new buyer.

"We didn't want it to go away because there's no place else like this in Moses Lake" she said. "We didn't want this little gem to disappear."

Although the couple already had their hands full operating a construction company, Tudor said they didn't want to see Imbibe close its doors.

Tudor said she and her husband made the decision to buy the business after Dano said she couldn't find any interested buyers.

"Cynthia said she was just going to close the doors, and we didn't want that to happen," said Tudor.

The Tudors officially took over as new owners on Feb. 1.

Tudor said Imbibe is a unique business, which set it apart from other bars or wine retailers in Moses Lake.

As a bar, Imbibe provides a place for customers to come in and enjoy specialty beers and wine by the glass, she said. And as a store, Imbibe keeps a variety of Washington wines on its shelves.

Imbibe also serves as a music venue, she said, with live music every Friday. Tudor said Imbibe is also an art gallery, and displays local art and photography.

"There are other great places to go in this town for live music and beers," she said. "But there's no where else with the same atmosphere as Imbibe."

Tudor said running Imbibe is nothing like running a construction business.

"It's not as easy as I thought it would be," said Tudor. "There's so many tiny facets of running this like meeting with the distributors and learning about the different wines."

Tudor said she worked with Dano to get acquainted with the business for a couple of months before she and her husband officially took over.

"It was a total immersion, and I still have so much to learn," she said.

Tudor said while the first few weeks without Dano were a challenge, she is having fun learning how to run a wine bar.

"We try to figure out what musicians we're going to have this week, what beer to have on tap and what wineries we're going to feature," said Tudor. "So it's definitely been a different experience, but a fun one."

Tudor said while she and her husband plan to do some light remodeling and have toyed around with different ideas to implement at Imbibe, they don't want to change too much about the business.

"We want to continue with Cynthia's theme, which is a focus on bringing in the arts," she said. "Wether it's music, painting or photography, we want to make sure that it remains a huge part of our society."

Tudor said she wants to focus on showcasing local talent and art at Imbibe. This month Imbibe features artwork from Rhonda Steel, she said.

She also wants to bring in artwork from the local high schools in the coming months.

When she goes to book musicians, Tudor said she tries to select bands and singers from the area.

"I want this to be something the community can embrace, so if we focus on local art and music the more people might be inclined to come by," said Tudor.

Tudor said Imbibe also keeps its wine selection as local as possible by only selling Washington made wines.

A few wines from out of state occasionally end up as house pours or are brought in for Imbibe's wine club, she said. However, all the wines on Imbibe's shelves are Washington made wines, said Tudor.

"The goal is to promote Washington wines," she said. "That's all we sell."

Imbibe is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from noon to 8 p.m. Thursdays, from noon to 10 p.m. Fridays and from noon to 5 p.m.

Saturdays.

Tudor said Saturday hours might be extended because she wants to offer live music on Saturdays as well. Imbibe currently offers live music every Friday.

Every third Thursday Imbibe hosts a wine tasting event, where some of the proceeds go to a chosen charity of the month. This month, Imbibe chose the Boys and Girls Club as its non-profit of the month, said Tudor.

Imbibe is located at 216 W. Third Ave in downtown Moses Lake. For more information, call 509-765-1119 or visit www.imbibetoday.com.

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