MOUNT VERNON — Stacey Baxter's business underwent a fascinating transition over a couple of decades.
Baxter said going from finance to serving drinks in Mount Vernon was something she envisioned 20 years ago.
Her love for bars sprouted when she served drinks at a local bar in Bowling Green State University. Afterward, Baxter pondered if she could make this a business -- own her own bar.
"(I) spent 20 years in corporate finance, doing accounting, audits, financial planning," Baxter said.
That's where Baxter's Wine and Whiskey was born, at 212 S. Main St. Mount Vernon. The property is leased by Knox County Foundation, which renovated the space for Baxter, KCF Executive Director Jeffrey Scott said.
Renovation included gutting the entire interior. Replacing countertops, flooring, shelves, and lighting were also part of the project.
Baxter discussed with friends the idea of opening a wine bar, but they needed a space and then the love for whiskey came in, too. No worries, though it's a full bar featuring gin, vodka and tequila options.
"It would be cool to have a wine bar," the conversation went. "The bourbon whiskey trend is pretty hot right now, something not prevalent in Knox County."
The relaxing bar launched via a soft opening on July 9, and it has flourished. The bar has featured more than 100 whiskeys in its six-month stint.
The bar offers cold food options like cheese, fruit boards and desserts. When produce is more available during the summer, Baxter plans on changing menu options to accommodate it.
One of Baxter's goals is to offer quality, reasonably priced wine that you can't find locally (i.e. Kroger,) Baxter said. "We often go with recommendations or requests from customers about wine they like or want to purchase."
All carryout bottles of wine are 10% off too, the owner said.
Baxter says the business is off and running.
"I've heard good feedback from folks that've been there so that's encouraging," Scott said.