Handle on Business: Wine Cellar has new owners

SUNDAY, SEPT. 19, 2010

The Wine Cellar Restaurant at 313 Sherman Ave. is back under local ownership. Tom and Patricia Power, longtime loyal customers and members of the Wine Club, bought the business and the building this past week. They’re keeping the management and employees and will gradually expand the wine list and introduce new menu items.

The building itself, about 2,400 square feet on each floor, was built in 1903. It gained notoriety in the 1960s with Merrill’s Cafe on the main floor and The Club Cigar (a men’s club with several stuffed animals) below. The building was extensively remodeled in 1978 and housed the Eat ’n’ Run Cafe below and a list of businesses above. All Things Irish is the current lessee. The Wine Cellar management comprises original owner Jim Duncan as wine consultant, general manager Mary Jay and business and wine club manager Naomi Julian. They have about 20 employees.

“We want to focus on building the core principles that have made The Wine Cellar the success it is,” Jay said, “by providing value to our customers in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.”

Tom Power is president and CEO of the 240-employee Sunshine Minting Inc., with headquarters in Coeur d’Alene and operations in Henderson, Nev., and Shanghai, China, and owns Home Theater Installation and Home Integration in Post Falls.

Wine Cellar hours are 4:30-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4:30-11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Phone (208) 664-9463.

Center Partners adds third call center

Expanding its local employee base to about 1,340 people, Center Partners last week added a third location in North Idaho. About 140 people are working in the new 26,000-square-foot site at 7830 N. Meadowlark Way. The Parkwood Business Properties-leased area is southeast of Highway 95 and Prairie Avenue.

Center Partners is an outsourcing company that provides services that include customer service, technology support and sales. The 12-year-old company also has outlets in Idaho Falls and Fort Collins, Colo. Its other North Idaho call centers are with about 600 employees in 42,000 square feet at 1201 W. Ironwood Drive and 600 employees in 27,000 square feet at 784 S. Clearwater Loop.

With the belief of supporting its own community, Center Partners has been the largest corporate donor to the Inland Northwest Blood Center five times, sponsors drives for the Food Bank and donated backpacks for school children. Check www.centerpartners.com.

Denally’s becoming Monet’s Floors

With a major sale signaling the closing of Denally’s Home decor at the end of the month, Monet’s Floors and Home Design will move into the building at 6040 Government Way.

Furniture, decor with lamps, mirrors and paddleboards are offered below cost at Denally’s through Sept. 28. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Phone (208) 772-4648.

Monet’s Floors and Home Design will offer a 1,800-square-foot showroom with hardwood and tile flooring, carpeting and design and interior decorating services to retail customers and builders.

Originally from Montreal, owner Diane Monet has a background in finance and administration and came to North Idaho from California to join her son Sean White, a tile setter and part of the new business. Monet will have two employees and consultants. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and opening in October.

This week’s tidbits

• Providing services to commercial and multi-family properties, ICMS Group will move in April from 120 W. Neider Ave. to 320 E. Neider in the Global Credit Union building. With nine employees, the business (originally called Interstate Commercial Mortgage Services) provides site and portfolio reviews, inspections and damage assessments. Owner Don Walters moved the business here from Riverside, Calif., after a friend vacationing here told him about the area. Check www.icmsgroup.com.

• Ah, the new Sherman Avenue restaurant. They aren’t quite ready. Hang on.

• It’s interesting to see the partisan political signs on business properties. It seems they’d affect customers’ choices in where they go.

• Watch for news next week on a major Coeur d’Alene beverage business.

Contact Nils Rosdahl at (208) 769-3228 or nhrosdahl@nic.edu.

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