BRIX Restaurant under new management

New+and+improved+tasting+counter+at+BRIX.
New and improved tasting counter at BRIX.

New and improved tasting counter at BRIX.

Mira Cummings

Mira Cummings

New and improved tasting counter at BRIX.

Cassandra Hays, Staff Reporter

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The sounds of clinking wine glasses and conversation fills the room. Friendly faces greet you as the smell of homemade food hits your nose. Located on 3rd Street, BRIX Wine Bar & Restaurant has been serving wine, beer and fresh food to the Ellensburg community since 2010. When the business was put up for sale, Stephanie and Tony Ritter decided to buy and co-own the bar out of love for the Ellensburg community.

Stephanie Ritter is one of the new owners, and the general manager at BRIX. Prior to moving into her new manager position, Stephanie worked for the company for five years. Tony grew up in Ellensburg, and also owns The Roost, a tattoo studio on Main Street. The couple is well known by the community, which has allowed for a smooth transition into their new ownership.

“We saw an opportunity to expand within our community. We love Ellensburg to our core,” Stephanie said. “We love that we can facilitate a place that brings the community together.”

Stephanie said that the new management worked hard to keep BRIX true to the the reputation it had prior to restructuring. The management takes pride in keeping the bar relatively the same, making only a few minor changes to improve it and make it their own.

“Management has been very strong in doing what they need to do to make sure the doors stay open,” Elijah Combs, an employee said. Combs added that Stephanie has been doing a great job of managing BRIX since stepping into the role.

The change in ownership also led to many positive reactions from the community.

“It was a pretty simple transition,” Stephanie said. “As far as us taking over the management, we had a lot of support from the community.”

Sydney Ethridge, 23, is a regular customer at BRIX.

“The people here are always friendly and the bartenders are always able to answer my questions,” Ethridge said.

Bright sign advertising this tasting room’s good food, service and live music.

BRIX offers wine tastings and the employees are knowledgeable about the selection they offer. The bar also offers craft beer, which is quite popular in the Pacific Northwest region, according to Stephanie. BRIX features local breweries from Ellensburg and all over Washington state. They are also known for their wide selection of wine and craft beers, which they rotate often in order to keep a good variety.

“We have wine from all around the state of Washington and a couple varieties from Oregon,” Stephanie said. “We really like to support local [wineries] and give a taste of Washington’s grapes.”

BRIX has also gained a reputation for their wide selection of food, including pizza, appetizers and desserts. Everything is homemade by their head chef Timothy Fields, who is continuing to work at BRIX after the new ownership took over. Fields is responsible for coming up with many items on the menu.

“We pride ourselves on everything being handmade and homemade,” Stephanie said. “We come up with new seasonal creations all the time that are just made from the brains in our kitchen.”

She added nothing is frozen or sent to BRIX from distributors.

If you need a bite to eat or a drink after a long day Brix is here for you.  

“It’s just a really welcoming chill place,” Combs said. “It has a really nice vibe during the evening. We have good music, the lights are kind of low, and it’s easy to talk and be social.”

They offer specials and student discounts on their menu items. BRIX is open from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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BRIX Restaurant under new management