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First Look: Red, Wine & Brew crafts new prototype for expansion

An Ohio-based spirits store is looking to expand regionally — and eventually nationally — with a new prototype.

Red, Wine & Brew, a Cleveland retailer founded by Sam Shah and Dr. Chetan Patel that is known for its vast of selection of craft beers, private label wines and cigars, has opened its first location beyond its home base, in Westlake, Ohio. The store design, by Jencen Architecture, was created to reflect the brand and support it for future growth.

As the first RWB brand evolution prototype, the store features a “Modern Americana” design style. The RWB brand is known for its knowledgeable staff members, who build lasting relationships that keep their neighborhood customers (or “friends) coming back. The Jencen team created a multi-purpose “Welcome Friends” bar-style cash wrap to greet friends at the entrance.

This multi-use area is not only a dramatic focal point, but is also extremely functional. It’s designed for four main functions, including checking customers out and hosting wine tastings. It also serves as a staging area where customers can place their items while shopping, and staging area for inventory deliveries.

The custom butcher block-style countertop provides a soft industrial look while providing a soft landing for the glass bottles and hard goods. The vertical, column-style chalkboard promotes wine-tasting events as well as new items to try or daily specials. From above, the open ceiling provides a light spacious feeling.

Walk-In Humidor
Beyond the liquid libations, RWB offers cigars for aficionados. The store’s walk-in humidor is effectively the cigar equivalent of a wine cellar. The room was designed to showcase product and keep it all at the 70/70 optimum climate – 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 70% relative humidity.

The glass front showcases and preserves the wide variety of cigars. Once inside, customers can easily access products and use the central island to examine and narrow selections. The custom shelves and island are in the natural, neutral taupe tone, visually connecting to the shelves on the main sales floor.

RWB’s general manager, Paul Allen, worked closely with the Jencen design team during the design process.

“Our prior stores always had long aisles, but the new layout works so much better,” he said.  “I’m really impressed with the shoppability of the space. People spend more time in the store and explore more which means more sales.”

Paul noted that the RWB goal from the initial design meeting was to have product decorate the store. “When customers walk in the store, they take in the product and the volume of the product lines – it makes a big impact,” he added.

The finishes are neutral, warm but modern and inviting, with luxury vinyl to comfortably support movement throughout the store. The vinyl flooring (“Charted, Topography Collection” by Patcraft) has the appearance of an old world map and the slightly greenish-blue wall paint (“Rainstorm” by Sherwin Williams) suggests travel vibes, with both reflecting the worldly product lines offered at RWB.   

Bold interior signage around the perimeter tells the brand story. According to RBW general manager Paul Allen, “We are ‘Discover’ and ‘Celebrate’ – it’s what we offer our customers.”  The store design and signage is meant to encourage those feelings and communicate that message to customers. It creates a visually exciting store that engages customers.

“The store is awesome,” Allen said. “We love it, and more importantly, our customers are wowed!”

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