COLUMBIA — The Village Wine and Cheese Restaurant closed its doors for good on March 22 because of “marginal operations.” After seven years, Kathy Fluesmeier, the owner, said she felt that the restaurant had a good run.
“We’ve met so many people in the community,” she said.
But this week has been a sad chapter in her life as she closes this door. “It feels like a funeral — people have sent flowers; they’re coming in saying their goodbyes.”
Loyal customers have been coming in buying wine and cheese during the restaurant’s retail inventory sale, which started Saturday and continues through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. But there was not much to choose from Monday afternoon.
“There aren’t any red wines left,” Fluesmeier said. “It’s amazing how much wine we’ve sold.”
The restaurant is selling off their retail inventory, items such as wine and cheese, and other items. The restaurant’s equipment will be sold later in April.
When asked what she is doing next, Fluesmeier said she has no idea. She is thinking of making a cookbook from the restaurant’s recipes. “So many people just loved our carrot cake.”
Jason Bandelier, a regular, is sad to see the restaurant close. His eyes welled with tears as he talked about the Village. It has been home for many of those around the downtown area. Bandelier and other employees from Kent, Pen Point, Poppy’s and others were big contributors.
“It’s just home,” Bandelier said. “ You could be having a bad day, but when you stepped through the door, you felt welcomed, warm, comfortable. Kathy was like a mom to us.”