A Wine and Design is opening in Williamsburg--but without the Wine!
Williamsburg will soon have its own Wine and Design--a franchised company which pairs a one-night painting class with sipping wine and fellowship. Customers typically pay $30-$50 for a session taught by local artists, learn to paint a featured piece of artwork, and bring their art home. The franchise was started in Raleigh, NC, and is popular with wedding parties, couples looking for a fresh spin on date night, or anyone with an interest in art.
Sounds great, right? Here's the catch:
Serving liquor, beer, or wine without food is illegal in Virginia. In other states, owners circumvent this law with a BYOB policy--which is also illegal in Virginia. According to the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily, Jennifer Oberman plans to apply for banquet licenses when customers book well enough in advance, but other than that, she's "hopeful that Virginia's laws will become looser." Unfortunately, hope is not a method.
The business is scheduled to open in the Arts District of Williamsburg, on Bacon street. Although a seemingly ideal location, two businesses have already opened and closed in the same building.
Although opening a business is never easy, the Williamsburg Wine and Design seems to be starting with two strikes against it. Even so, just like selling a home, proper marketing makes a world of difference. Oberman needs an excellent business campaign to get the word out.
Maybe Virginia's law are antiquated. An entrepreneur wants to bring a new business into Williamsburg and service a customer base with an activity that is currently unavailable. And what's holding her back? An arbitrary regulation.
Should Oberman be able to open her shop and serve wine, or should she have to serve food to get her license? Please post your comments!