While there are several options for downtown Centralia visitors looking to grab a drink, Shawna Viggers Sicilia wanted to provide a more calm, low-key alternative from exisiting bars and taverns.
At the end of November, she opened Luxe Wine Bar on North Tower Avenue.
As a wine lover, she was dismayed by the lack of a wine bar in the area. Sicilia wanted to create an environment that was much more quiet and relaxed than a traditional bar so people, especially women, could have a peaceful space to enjoy a glass of wine.
“I feel like most of the taverns aren’t female friendly. I like this place to fill up with a lot of gals just hanging out and drinking wine,” Sicilia said.
She said although there are two televisions in the bar, they’re only turned on for Seattle Seahawks games. Luxe is set up more like a lounge than a traditional bar, with love seats that line the walls instead of restaurant booths, though there are a handful of tables in the back by the bar area.
Luxe currently has 22 varieties of wine as well as eight taps for beer and cider as well as canned beverage options.
“We’re eventually going to have a staple menu that will be our regulars and then we’ll have a rotating wine list as well,” Sicilia said.
According to Sicilia, some of her new regulars come in simply to relax while they drink.
“It’s really nice. I have one gal that will come in and read a book for four hours and have wine. Another couple, a husband and wife, come in and build the puzzle in the corner,” Sicilia said.
She said so far business hasn’t been bad during Luxe Wine Bar’s first few weeks being open downtown.
“My weekends go well, Friday and Saturday nights, but that’s more of a typical bar crowd. The rest of the week is pretty slow, though I think the weather has something to do with it, and it's Christmastime. Everybody’s busy with Christmas parties,” Sicilia said.
Currently, Luxe is open four days a week, from 2 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and from 2 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. After a brief Christmas closure, the business will reopen Wednesday.
Sicilia is also planning a New Years Eve party.
“It’ll be lowkey. It’s going to be a ‘New York New Year’s,’ so it ends at 9 instead of midnight,” Sicilia said.
Looking ahead, Sicilia plans to be open seven days a week starting New Year's Day. Luxe’s new hours will be 3 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
While other wine bars have failed to remain open in downtown Centralia, Sicilia is optimistic due to her roots in the area.
“Sometimes it’s not who you know but who knows you, and I feel like a lot of people in this area know my family so it helps. We all went to Centralia High School. I went to Centralia College. So did my brother … We made a lot of contacts,” Sicilia said.
Sicilia noted her brother Brandon Viggers owns Bub’s Pub Sports Bar & Grill, and while some of her patrons have commented that she might be taking business away from her brother, Sicilia stated that’s not the case.
“Everybody’s like, ‘what, you’re competing with your brother?’ I tell them it’s not competing. We’re completely different (businesses). It’s nice actually. I’ll send people his way. I had someone recently from out of town that wanted to go out to get dinner and I was like, ‘oh it’s prime rib night at Bub’s Pub, you should go there.’ I called and they had enough left and they went and ate dinner there, and he sends people my way too,” Sicilia said.
Additionally, there’s a small retail space in the back where she sells gifts such as T-shirts, soaps and lotions. Sicilia is looking for local businesses and artists to stock the retail space, as most of what is for sale right now comes from outside the area.
Anyone interested in using the retail space can contact Sicilia at LuxeWineBar@outlook.com.
Luxe Wine Bar is located at 207 N. Tower Ave. downtown Centralia, next to the Rectangle Gallery & Creative Space.
To learn more, follow the wine bar on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/luxewinebar.