published Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Owner working to make Brix Nouveau wine bar a Chattanooga staple

Kathryn Olinger, a server, pours wine for customers inside Brix Nouveau, a new wine bar on the NorthShore that also offers coffee and cheese and meat plates.
Kathryn Olinger, a server, pours wine for customers inside Brix Nouveau, a new wine bar on the NorthShore that also offers coffee and cheese and meat plates.
Photo by Alyson Wright /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Name: Brix Nouveau wine bar

Location: 301 Cherokee Blvd., Chattanooga

Contact information: 423-488-2926, BrixNouveau.com

Products/services: Brix Nouveau is a wine bar offering wine by the glass, bottle and wine flights. The flights offer three samples of different wine and will feature a variety of the month. The bar also serves custom cheese and meat plates, serves desserts from local candy company The Hot Chocolatier and coffee from Stone Cup.

Age: Opened Aug. 30

Getting started: Owner Rosabelle Gorman is a longtime wine fan, but didn't land on the idea of owning her own wine bar until she stopped at a California vineyard after her brother's wedding. "I had such a wonderful experience just sitting on the patio drinking a bottle of wine with my family and enjoying a cheese plate," she said. "I thought, 'Man, I could do this every day.'" Gorman had wanted to open a unique business in Chattanooga, and thought her wine bar would fit perfectly on the NorthShore.

Target market: Anyone from young professionals to semi-retired people. Gorman said the bar already has drawn young people, families, a 90-year-old couple and a variety of other wine enthusiasts. "A lot of people seem to like drinking wine in a bar," she said.

Biggest challenge: Clearing all the regulatory hurdles necessary to open a bar. Gorman had difficulty getting her liquor and beer licenses, making sure her sign met city ordinances and overcoming all the small, unexpected challenges that come with opening a business. "I just had to be patient, and it worked out," she said. "There's always things when you're opening a business that you don't anticipate."

Biggest reward: Seeing customers enjoy her bar. She thought she had a great idea, but couldn't be sure anyone else would until after she opened. "When people actually come in and say, 'I like this, this is really great,' it makes you feel like you're doing something right," she said.

Lesson learned: Give yourself plenty of lead time. Opening a business can come with a slew of surprises, and Gorman was glad she factored lots of wiggle room into her timetables.

Five-year goal: Become an established hangout in the Scenic City.

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