It is hard to believe it, but the dinner party will be open 12 years this year! To think of how Coeur d’Alene has changed and how the wine industry has grown in North Idaho in that time is truly remarkable. For Mary and I, we have always felt embraced by the community and we feel incredibly grateful for the support. We will forever be pleased we chose this community to open our small shop.
For some time though, we have felt like we have outgrown our small shop. As the dinner party wine club has continued to grow and more folks look to attend our winemaker tastings, and still others stop by the shop on weekends to taste in our by-the-glass program, the space has felt at times cramped. Not so much for us, but for the wine consumers; we always want you to feel comfortable.
With all of this in mind, we have been looking for more space. The good news is that we have found it! The even better news is that the move will be precisely 34 steps to the west from our current store. We have always felt this was a good location for all of you. Centrally located and not too far from Hayden, nor too far from downtown Coeur d’Alene. Our building owner, Anders Hainer has always been accommodating and we have enjoyed a very good relationship with him. Building management too, Cheryl Klein from Kiemle and Hagood, has been a joy to work with. Both of these factors make it easy for Mary and I, but more importantly provide a property that is easy for you to get to and one that is well maintained, clean and attractive.
The space we are moving to is the former Great Harvest store at the west end of our existing building, closest to Government Way and just next to Starbucks. The new place accomplishes the main goal of having more physical space (about twice as much) to accommodate all of you, our great friends and customers, and allow our events to continue growing as you bring your friends with you to tastings and to enjoy our by-the-glass wines.
We will expand the wine collection significantly. The additional space will allow for a broadened selection of our value category of wines priced $15 and under. We also will have specific displays for wines from France, Italy and Spain and Portugal. Storage for our wine club members will expand and improve. We special order bottles for customers all the time now. Those orders range from single bottles to full cases and the storage for those will also be expanded.
For merchandise, we will now have room to display our full array of custom gift baskets. We will add additional selections of non-perishable gourmet items, including gourmet chocolates, pasta, imported olive oils and more. And our ever-popular selection of beverage napkins, tea towels and glassware will also expand.
There will be a bigger tasting area with comfortable chairs and a sofa, as well as coffee and stand up tables to accommodate our tasting guests. We will offer regular tasting from Tuesday to Saturday, every week, designed to help you find the bottle you want by purchasing a glass of any of the 3 wines we will feature each week.
We couldn’t be more excited about this move and all that we will be able to offer to wine consumers and gift givers here in North Idaho. We hope you will all come by the new location soon after we move to explore all of the new choices and to see the space. The projected date is May 1 for us to be in the new store. We are expecting to close the shop for 2 days at the most, at the end of April, to accommodate the move. The new address is 3510 North Government Way, just down the way from our existing store in the same building.
We will see you there.
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George Balling is co-owner with his wife, Mary Lancaster, of the dinner party, a wine and gift shop in Coeur d’Alene by Costco. The dinner party has won the award for best wine shop in North Idaho twice, including for 2018. George is also published in several other publications around the country. After working in wineries in California and judging many wine competitions, he moved to Coeur d’Alene with Mary more than 10 years ago to open the shop. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop.