Citrus Ave and U.S. 19  downtown Inverness

Shown in this aerial photograph is the intersection of Citrus Avenue and U.S. 19 in the downtown historic section of Crystal River. KC Wine & Koffee Bar will soon be moving out of the Crystal River Mall and into its new in the downtown historic district.

KC Wine & Koffee Bar will soon be moving out of the Crystal River Mall and into its new location at 564 N. Citrus Ave., in the downtown historic district.

And it will have a new name: KC Wine & Bistro.

The business will take over the spot formerly occupied by Crew, The Bar, whose owner had announced recently she had been struggling with capacity restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeff and Marissa Countryman opened KC Wine & Koffee Bar about three years ago and jumped at the opportunity to be in the historic district location when the Crew site became available. Jeff Countryman said he changed the name and is looking forward to be near other restaurants and is across the street from the soon-to-open town square at the corner of U.S. 19 and Citrus Avenue.

‘We’re very fortunate to be there,” he said.

Except for some minor changes — including installing a retail wine wall — inside the building, the site is pretty much move-in ready, Countryman said. The outdoor patio will be especially popular, he said.

In addition to daily wine tastings from open to close, Countryman said he’s going to provide free wine samples for folks.

Countryman said he’s planning a Sept. 1 grand opening and will space tables and chairs appropriately while the pandemic continues.

Crystal River City Manager Ken Frink said he’s happy for the Countrymans and the city is glad to have them downtown.

“I was sad to see the Crew leave, but we’re very excited that she (the owner of the Crew) is leasing it out to an already established business that will hit the ground running.”

Mayor Joe Meek said this is another option for folks to patronize when they visit the historic district.

“I think it will be an excellent fit,” Meek said. 

Crew, the Bar opened in August 2019 and was billed by owner Lisa Benson as an upscale coffee-wine-beer bar.

The closings and capacity directives were too much to deal with, Benson told the Chronicle last month. She said she was also trying to work out permit issues in trying to reconfigure the outside canopy area.

The closing was acknowledged on the Crew’s Facebook page Monday.

“Today, Crew, the Bar officially ends. Short Lived but successful. Thanks.”

 

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.