By Laurelle Walsh
Copper Glance, a downtown Winthrop bar specializing in craft cocktails, has had brisk business and glowing reviews on social media since opening its doors on May 13.
Located at 134-A Riverside Ave., Copper Glance serves “classic cocktails with a twist;” craft beers, wines and ciders, including several on draft; and internationally inspired “small plates” — namely, finger foods designed for sharing.
The 21-and-over bar is open from 4 –11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour, with food and drink specials, is daily from 4 –6 p.m.
The opening was much anticipated by locals, who watched the new owners discretely transform the space over the winter, after the closure of its previous occupant, Noca Coffee House.
“It’s something we have seen a need for for a while,” said Leia Hansen, who co-owns Copper Glance along with her husband, Shiah Lints, and friends Sol Gutierrez and Liam Doyle. “Town seems to shut down early, and there hasn’t really been a spot where you can hang out after hours, enjoy a well-crafted drink and an upscale vibe,” she said.
The foursome had talked about starting a business like this for several years, and looked at other locations in Winthrop, according to Hansen. When they learned that the cozy space on Riverside Avenue was available, they solidified their commitment to the venture and signed the lease within a week, Lints said.
Over several months the remodel opened up the formerly cave-like space, creating a clean and classy atmosphere with refinished concrete floors, reconditioned wood trim and a custom bar with gleaming copper top. Doyle describes the style as “a nice visual contrast between delicate and rustic.”
The bar seats around 35 people inside, with another 28-or-so seats on the front patio. “It seemed like a manageable size,” said Hansen, noting that they all have kept their other jobs: Hansen and Lints operate River Run Inn and Methow River Raft & Kayak; Gutierrez runs a photography business; and Doyle manages Lost River Winery.
Inspiration for Copper Glance came, in part, from visiting small bars in Seattle and Portland. “We spent a lot of time going out to bars for fun and research,” said Doyle, “and we wanted to bring some of it back home.”
Hansen and Lints also derived inspiration from a month-long trip to southern Spain. “Spain and its nightlife was our original inspiration,” said Hansen, citing the Andalusian charms of family-friendly neighborhood bars, late-night dining and small, shared plates — or tapas.
Playing on the small-plate concept and changing seasonally, the Copper Glance menu includes variations on crostini — toasted baguette topped with savory tidbits such as anchovies and pickled peppers, or locally sourced morel mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns; oak charcuterie boards featuring cured meats and cheeses from around the world; and specialty sandwiches such as the Methow Cubano.
Handcrafted cocktails are made with fresh-squeezed juices, fresh herbs, specialty liquors and extra-large, slow-melting ice cubes to complement the higher-end spirits. “We’re looking for bright, fresh flavors,” Doyle said.
Live music will soon be a regular feature, and they’d like to hear from acoustic soloists or duos, Lints said. On Saturday (June 13), Methow Valley native Jake Shaw will perform on guitar and voice starting at 9 p.m.
“We want a place where you can take your girlfriend or boyfriend, sit down, have drinks and relax,” said Lints. Add “sweet treats,” such as house-made chocolate truffles, Mazama Store pie and French-press coffee, and Copper Glance may have found a recipe for success.