By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
NAUVOO, Ill. -- A simple request from customers spurred an expansion project at a Nauvoo winery.
Baxter's Vineyards has opened the Wine Barrel, a wine bar facility attached to the winery's production facility via the outdoor patio.
A grand opening celebration for the business will take place 3-9 p.m. Saturday.
"It really started when we wanted to serve wine by the glass in the winery. We were getting a lot of requests," owner Brenda Logan said. "A lot of wineries in the state and adjacent states are serving by the glass."
Logan said she worked with city officials for two years to secure a liquor license.
"We started serving wine slushies, wine by the glass, some beers," she said.
Adding the bar serving Baxter's Vineyards wine along with a variety of beers and spirits was the next step. Hours will be 3-7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 3-8 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
"Since there's no neighborhood bar or place in Nauvoo, friends can meet and enjoy each other and something to drink," she said. "It's something for the community to use."
Logan said the business converted an empty building into the bar area with a wine theme.
"There's staves on the bar, barrel stools and tables, wine bottle sconces," Logan said.
Saturday's celebration will offer drawings and snacks along with the release of a new wine.
Blackberry Norbie, a blend of blackberry and Norton wine, was named for a spirited individual who was a longtime friend and employee of the Baxter family.
Norbie, a sweet red wine, is the first blackberry wine for the winery.
"We're slowly getting into fruit wines, but they're always made with a grape wine base," Logan said. "It's a blended wine between a fruit wine and a grape wine."