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Morrison’s Flights Wine Café on the move

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By Deborah Swearingen

While Flights Wine Café is not closing its doors for good, the Morrison business is saying goodbye to the quaint and quirky cottage it currently calls home.

The owners of the building, Rhonda and Carl Benton, plan to sell the 1870s cottage. Though no official sale has been made, Dave Granquist and Lavonne Wise — Flights Wine Café’s managers, siblings and wine aficionados — will move the wine café to a new location regardless. The pair is sad to bid farewell to the Stone Street café with its rich history, tree-covered patio, comfy couches and funky décor, but they also know a change of pace entails excitement.

“Our heart and soul is in this place,” Wise said. “We’re saddened that we’re losing it.”

“But things happen … so we have to find a new home,” she added.

Granquist and Wise, who began managing Flights in April 2016, first heard murmurs of a potential sale earlier this year. Plans have been up in the air for months, as the pair weighed its options and considered moving out of Morrison altogether. But thanks to support from the town’s business community, they now will be able to stay.

Soon, the wine cafe will share space with TNT Country Kitchen, an American comfort food restaurant on Bear Creek Avenue. TNT, which is set to undergo a name change, will be open for breakfast and lunch, and Flights will then have the space for the evening.

“They’re like angels,” Wise said of Ana DeJesus and Clinton Scott with Red Rocks Grill.

DeJesus also owns TNT Country Kitchen and helped facilitate the collaboration.

“What a great thing for the business community in Morrison,” Wise added.

Atmosphere

Neither Wise nor Granquist had experience in the restaurant world, but they’ve had success thus far. Both agree the premise is simple: run a business you’d want to frequent.

For Flights, among other things, this means a welcoming atmosphere, comfortable seating, great service and a huge selection of wine.

With more than 100 wines to choose from, servers are trained to help guide customers in their selections and often provide samples.

“Everyone has their own palate. It’s the same for food as it is for wine,” Wise said.

Through live music, customer service and overall friendliness, the brother and sister duo hope to draw customers in and encourage them to return.

“It truly is a lively place,” Granquist said.

Next steps

Community members, customers, employees and fellow Morrison business owners packed the Morrison Town Hall on Nov. 7 to voice their support for Granquist and Wise.

“Yes, I do drive from Aurora to come to Flights,” said Donna Flansburg to the town board. “Because it’s fun. It’s relaxing. They’re my friends. … I just can’t imagine not having a place like that.”

The town of Morrison said there is not much it can do, aside from approving the new request for a liquor license. Flights Wine Café will come before the board again Tuesday with that request.

The next steps aren’t set in stone, but Flights will be open in its current location through November and possibly into December before beginning the moving process. Granquist and Wise say their goal is have a smooth transition into the new location as to not interrupt business.

“We’re excited we’re still going to have the opportunity to stay in Morrison and be a part of this community,” Wise said in the board meeting.

To stay informed about the café’s plans, like “Flights Wine Café” on Facebook or visit www.flightswinecafe.com.