Westfield Wine Vault among a flurry of openings

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The Westfield Wine Vault will open at 100 N. Union St. in downtown Westfield next month to bring both connoisseurs and casual drinkers a world of different wines.

Andy Durnell, president of Noblesville-based Prospective Asset Management, originally thought he’d wait until retirement to open a wine bar and restaurant. Then, about a year ago, he moved to Westfield and quickly fell in love with the historic bank building on the northeast corner of Union and Main streets. Durnell and his then-fiancé, Addie, purchased the building last November and have since made improvements to the interior to prepare for a grand opening next month.

“I’ve been to many different wine tastings—both good and bad—and the experience is what I love most,” Durnell said. “What we’re trying to do here is bring a unique experience to the area. We want to allow people to taste things they’ve never tasted before.”

Durnell has divided the brick, two-story building’s roughly 3,000 square feet into several distinct spaces. The first floor features a stand-up tasting bar with room for 15 to 20 people, as well as an equal number of seats for those patrons interested in ordering light fare. Planned food offerings include charcuterie boards, soup, salads, flatbreads and desserts. Durnell estimated diners might expect to spend between $10 and $20 for a glass of wine.

In addition to the main room, there’s a private event space with room for 25. An upstairs room seats 30.

“We’re trying to offer the best wines from all of the best wine regions in the world through tastings, flights, by-the-glass and by-the-bottle,” Durnell said. “I want to try and deliver something the community doesn’t know they want. I don’t know if there’s a special demographic for fine wines here, but I’m going to find out.”

In other news:

— Bella Sciuchetti and her parents opened Bica Café at 933 Conner St. in Noblesville this month, with a soft opening on Oct. 2. The restaurant offers European baked goods, as well as Italian- and Portuguese-inspired dishes.

The roughly 2,100-square-foot space has roughly 14 tables inside, as well as another three or four dedicated to outdoor dining. Customers can expect to spend $12, on average, to enjoy house-made pizza, steak sandwiches, pasta dishes, clam chowder and more. Bica Café was also recently approved to sell beer, wine and other spirits.

— Also in Noblesville, former fiduciary officer Rhonda King achieved her dream when Thistle & Thyme Home Store opened over the summer in a 700-square-foot space at 29 S. 9th St.

The store offers décor for both the home and garden. King spent the past eight years scouring antique stores to find vintage, primitive, farmhouse and other handmade goods that include children’s clothing, gifts, candles, soaps, jewelry and more. King said she was concerned about opening a new store in the middle of a pandemic, but she’s been pleasantly surprised and has actually hit many of her monthly goals.

“You’d think people are confined to their homes, but they’re not,” King said. “They’re out and about, and they’re excited about our store. Some people say it just feels good coming in here.”

The pandemic has delayed one component of the business, though. King said she’s hoping Thistle & Thyme will be able to host its first do-it-yourself classroom event in October. Future classes may include instructions on wreath-making and how to decorate a mantle for the upcoming holidays.

— Converse-based First Farmers Bank & Trust is slated to open a new branch at 1100 S. Peru St. in Cicero by the end of the year. The 2,500-square-foot location will offer deposit and lending capabilities, as well as a full service drive-up and ATM access. Upon opening, the bank will have at least five full-time employees

— Brownsburg-based State Bank, formerly called the State Bank of Lizton, is planning to open its first Hamilton County branch in the Brookshire Village Shoppes retail center at 126th Street and Gray Road in Carmel. That 4,500-square-foot location is slated to open in spring 2021.

State Bank will acquire the property and is providing acquisition and redevelopment financing for Indianapolis-based real estate investment firm KennMar, which purchased the entire retail center in 2019.

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