The first wine-tasting room may be coming to downtown Santa Rosa.
Keven Brown, co-owner of Corrick's Stationery Store on Fourth Street, hopes to use part of his store for the tasting room in August.
"I have played with the idea of putting in a tasting room for several years, especially as the downtown has become a destination for tourists as well as for locals," he said. "As a store, we wanted to represent more American-made products ... Representing Sonoma County's most famous product, wine, is a natural extension of this concept."
Brown expects Santa Rosa-based Ancient Oak Cellars would improve the store's foot traffic, which he says now ranges from 200 to 600 people a day. Corrick's also is making room for a frame shop, My Daughter the Framer. Owner Sally Baker is moving her business from the Town & Country Shopping Center and hopes for a July opening.
Corrick's, a downtown institution for almost 100 years, was founded by Brown's great-grandparents, Arthur Rae and Mabel Corrick, in 1915. Brown said the store has 14,000 square feet of space on the ground level and 3,000 more upstairs.
"Both the winery and the framer will be centrally located against our western wall," he said. "The winery will be adjacent to our ARTrails Gallery, surrounded by Sonoma County art. The framer will be just north of there, in the area where we used to show books and maps."
Although Brown declined to reveal what Corrick's would charge in rent, he did say the additional income would help the store's bottom line, especially in a down economy.
"I would not say we're struggling financially," he said. "I think if you talk with any retailer, they would say the same thing. The economy is more challenging to any retail establishment.
"We're seeing a lot of positive growth even in a down economy," he said. "Obviously, any retail business is a little bit challenged. Some departments are up and some are down. China and silver are not selling the way they used to, and that's not a surprise."
Brown was drawn to Ancient Oak Cellars in part because it, too, is a multigenerational business. It is owned by Ken and Melissa Moholt-Siebert, with vineyards on the 31-acre property formerly owned by Ken Moholt-Siebert's grandparents, on Old Redwood Highway next door to Cardinal Newman High School.