Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 58° Cloudy
News >  Business

Arbor Crest expands to River Park Square

After more than two decades in Spokane Valley, Arbor Crest Wine Cellars plans to expand with its first off-site tasting room, in downtown Spokane’s River Park Square shopping center.

In a 950-square-foot space between Subway and AMC Theaters, Arbor Crest will create a retail shop and tasting room, complete with a patio, tables and chairs. Wines will be available to taste and to purchase by the bottle or case, but not by the glass. Purchased bottles can be opened and consumed on-site.

“Really, it was a way for us to get in front of the consumers and have a presence downtown, which we’ve always wanted to do,” said Jim van Loben Sels, Arbor Crest’s general manager. He said the tasting room in the Valley sees about 60,000 visitors annually, accounting for one-third of sales. “We figured we’d take advantage of the three million-plus people going through River Park Square (annually).”

Van Loben Sels said the downtown location will attract new customers and provide easier access during the winter months, when the long road up to Arbor Crest’s Cliff House is frequently icy.

The winery is shooting for a Nov. 1 opening.

On Thursday, the mall also announced two other new tenants and two expansions.

Teddy Bear Junction’s River Park Square store opened in mid-August on the skywalk level, near Macy’s. The store is the second location for owners Jennifer and Kelly Bleggi and Joan and Tim West, who also have a NorthTown Mall store.

Shoppers can select, assemble and dress their own teddy bears, in addition to recording voices or other noises that can be inserted inside.

“We have pregnant mothers that record the fetal heartbeat and put it in there,” said Jennifer Bleggi. One man recorded his marriage proposal and put it in a teddy bear, she said. The company is hoping to expand into Seattle, Coeur d’Alene and possibly Montana in coming years, Bleggi said. Teddy Bear Junction employs six people.

Upstairs in the food court, Pizza Rita is planning to open a new location, adding to two on the north side and one in the STA Plaza. Owner Brian Dickman is hoping to be open by Oct. 10 with a shop that will sell slices and full pies. The shop will be next to Panda, a Chinese food vendor.

“Pizza’s the universal food,” said Dickman, who named the business after his daughter. “Everybody likes a slice, grab ‘n go.”

Dickman, who started the business in 1989, said the opening of his new shop will not affect his other locations. Pizza Rita has about 40 employees and likely will hire two more for the new shop.

Two other retailers, Helly Hansen and Boehm’s Chocolates and Flowers, are expanding. Helly Hansen, which opened last year, has moved from a 1,648-square-foot shop into 3,000 square feet of space on the second floor near Macy’s. The Norwegian-based retailer sells outdoor apparel.

Boehm’s, one of the mall’s original merchants, is moving from 920 square feet on the second floor near Nordstrom’s into 1,300 square feet next to Abercrombie & Fitch sometime this fall.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.