Newton wine bar wins state award

Newton wine bar wins state award: Carolina Vines, Winstead Architecture honored by N.C. Main Street Center

NEWTON, N.C. – The city of Newton congratulates Carolina Vines and Winstead Architecture for winning the North Carolina Main Street Center award for best adaptive reuse project.

The North Carolina Main Street program is dedicated to helping cities and towns preserve their historic fabric. Local resources help participants build on their community’s unique characteristics to create vibrant central business districts. Award winners are chosen by a panel of independent judges from dozens of applications submitted by Main Street participants throughout the state. Adaptive reuse generally includes modification of an existing structure to make it suitable for a new purpose.

In 2010, Phyllis Deese retired and closed her long-time Newton business, Phyllis’ Crafts, at 19 North College Ave. Twyla McDermott—Deese’s daughter—and Dennis Baucom began discussing a potential business venture in Downtown Newton. During the planning, McDermott and Baucom were joined by Michael Waltuch, and Carolina Vines was born.

The project at 19 North College Ave. involved removal of paint from the building’s brick façade to reveal rows of rare, blond face brick. The building’s upper level was stabilized. A complete renovation of the lower level included installation of a wine bar, serving kitchen, retail and display areas, and a lounge. Winstead Architecture of Newton served as architect for the project.

Today, Carolina Vines is a popular Newton business, drawing customers from far beyond the city’s borders.

The wine bar offers a world-class selection of wines, dozens of craft beers, and a menu featuring cheese, charcuterie and handmade chocolate truffles. In addition to being a favorite gathering place, Carolina Vines showcases the work of local artists and serves as a venue for local musicians to gain exposure. A concert series and other events are scheduled this summer.

With the assistance of Newton’s Main Street program, Carolina Vines’ owners secured a $50,000 grant to help complete the $339,000 project. Carolina Vines created six new jobs, brought new nightlife to Downtown Newton, and ensured that the 2,400 square feet of retail space at 19 North College Avenue continues to contribute to the local economy.

The business generates more than $80,000 in annual payroll, plus added sales taxes, property taxes and utility revenues.

“We’re proud to have a partnership with Carolina Vines and other Downtown Newton businesses,” Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman said. “This prestigious award highlights the great things happening in Newton.”

Baucom credited Rob Powell, Newton’s Main Street program coordinator, with putting in the effort needed to secure the Main Street grant for the Carolina Vines project.

“People need to remember the positive things that the city of Newton does,” Baucom said. He added that he hopes legislators recognize the importance of grants like the one Carolina Vines received through the Main Street program. “Those are programs that folks in Raleigh need to keep in mind.”

For more information about Carolina Vines, visit thier website or Facebook page.


Five things to know about North Carolina Main Street:

» More than $2.2 billion has been invested in North Carolina Main Street and Small Town Main Street downtown districts from both the public and private sectors since the inception of the programs in 1980 and 2003 respectively. $106 million of that investment was in Small Town Main Street districts.

» Nearly 5,000 net new businesses have opened and more than 19,000 net new jobs have been created in North Carolina Main Street and Small Town Main Street downtown districts since 1980 and 2003 respectively. More than 500 businesses and 1,400 jobs of that total were in Small Town Main Street districts.

» Since 2009, for every dollar the state has invested in local projects through the Main Street Solutions Fund, $5.80 was invested by the local public and private sectors in those same projects. The Solutions Fund has directly assisted 55 businesses and created or retained more than 550 permanent full time and part time jobs.

» Every $5,000 the state has appropriated to the NC Main Street Center has meant: 10 net new jobs in Main Street districts, 3 net new businesses in Main Street districts, and $691,000 in private sector investment.

» Main Street is not only about dollars. Main Street communities have seen increased community pride, a greater commitment to historic preservation, and greater support for locally owned businesses.

(“Five things to know about North Carolina Main Street” is from information provided by the N.C. Main Street Center.)