Coffee, wine and a friendly little growl

Saturday, September 29, 2012
Elice Brunnette, manager of The Bear, is ready for today's grand opening. The new coffee house and wine bar -- located beneath La Chiesa in Spencer -- is designed to provide a "creative and comfortable vibe." (Photos by Randy M. Cauthron)

The newest addition to the Gary's on the River complex will host its open house today.

The Bear, a coffee house and wine bar, opened its doors earlier this week, but will really showcase what it has to offer with drinks, food and live music this weekend.

Located beneath La Chiesa and west of Bon Bon Frozen Yogurt, at 24 West Park Street, manager Elice Brunnette is excited to showcase what The Bear has to offer the Spencer area.

The Bear Grand Opening Saturday, Sept. 29 24 West Park Street 712-580-BEAR Regular Hours 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday Saturday Night Live Concerts Saturday Sept. 29: 8-10 p.m. - The Host Country

"We really want this place to be somewhere when you walk into it. You could be anywhere: California, New York - but it's here in Spencer," Brunnette said.

The establishment is a complement to the already existing businesses operating in the Gary's on the River development, and will be a draw for the entrepreneurs who will be participating in StartupCity Spencer when it opens down the road.

The Bear will serve a variety of wines and beers, as well as Intelligentsia brand coffee out of Chicago. A limited sandwich and appetizer menu, along with some pastries, will also be offered.

BJ Conover created the wood countertop at the bar, and also created the tables from one tree trunk.

Seeking a creative and comfortable atmosphere, Brunnette said, The Bear will feature a combination of antique and unique furnishings, friendly baristas and a "really eclectic vibe, with lots of stuff to talk about."

She admitted she's excited to share The Bear with the public.

"It's really exciting. It's been a lot of work getting here. But having everyone in here drinking a cup of coffee or drinking a glass of wine, will be very rewarding," Brunnette said.

The Host Country will be be performing at The Bear tonight from 8-10 p.m.

She continued, "We want it to be a real community gathering place. It's going to offer a new vibe to Spencer. We want it to be a creative space."

Along those lines, Brunnette said The Bear was designed with her uncle, Gary -- for whom the complex is named -- in mind.

"We really wanted to draw back to that image of the artist Gary (Jacobsen)," she explained. "It's going to become a great hub of activity."

Brunette noted that each Saturday night will feature live music from 8-10 p.m. For the grand opening, acoustic folk band, The Host Country, will get the new music scene started.

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