BRIDGMAN — Lazy Ballerina Winery is making moves.
The winery has opened the Speakeasy Room event space at their Bridgman tasting room, and will move their downtown St. Joseph space a few doors down.
Lauren Kniebes and Melanie Owen own the winery, one of the few women-owned wineries in the state. With the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber, the pair hosted an Oct. 14 ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Bridgman tasting room.
They started to renovate after the pandemic stay-at-home orders forced them to shut down.
“Since we were closed, we were like, ‘Well, what can we do to make use of this space?’” Kniebes said.
The separate space will allow them to host private events while still serving the general public, in addition to serving any overflow customers from the front of the house.
They’ve already hosted showers and bachelorette parties in the Speakeasy Room.
The event space was formerly a storage area. Because the building used to house a bakery, an industrial oven was in that back area, causing the floor to be uneven and have mismatched tile.
Lazy Ballerina Winemaker Jason Hayes and his son installed the pallet walls, Kniebes said. Hayes, a carpenter by hobby, crafted the wooden table in the center of the room.
The renovation took about four to six weeks. The room has been open to the public since their post-lockdown shutdowns, but they haven’t had a time to celebrate the opening formally.
The reception has been very positive since the opening, Kniebes said.
St. Joseph location moving
Currently, Lazy Ballerina’s St. Joseph tasting room is at 315 State St. Their future tasting room will be at 321 State St., where the Momentum Outfitters is.
They hope to move next March.
“We still wanted to stay downtown, because it’s so busy,” she said.
Kniebes said they outgrew the space quickly after opening and have since had their eyes out for a new location.
The new spot will have double the square footage and double the bar space.
When the tasting room first opened in 2015, Kniebes said they had couches and other comfortable seating options. However, those took up too much space. Kniebes said she hopes to bring back casual seating options at this new location.