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Ready to Make a Splash

Water Street’s first wine bistro uncorking soon

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by Emily Albrent photos by Andrea Paulseth

NOT BOTTLED UP. Newlyweds Andy Olson and Liane Edixon-Olson will soon open Splash Wine Bistro, 416 Water St., in a space that formerly housed Chedd’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese.
NOT BOTTLED UP. Newlyweds Andy Olson and Liane Edixon-Olson will soon open Splash Wine Bistro, 416 Water St., in a space that formerly housed Chedd’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese.

Blistery winds and chilling temperatures are taking over the Chippewa Valley, but Liane Edixon-Olson and Andy Olson continue to have a sunny outlook on the future.

The newlyweds own Eau Claire’s very first wine bistro. Edixon-Olson said the new niche eatery, Splash Wine Bistro, 416 Water St., has been something she and her husband have wanted to do for a long time. Splash was originally set to open in October, but their wedding and many other hiccups set things back.

“You always think you can get more done than you can,” Edixon-Olson said. “And we have always been that way. We plan big.”

She said many times it was small things that needed to be fixed, but they are both more than willing to take the time they need to make their business the best it can be. “We don’t want any disappointments when people come through that door,” she added.

Splash is now set to open in early December, and the hype is starting to pick up. “People are getting so excited,” Edixon-Olson said. “We have almost 400 friends on our Facebook (page) and people are constantly walking by trying to see if we are open.”

While their location, Water Street, is often seen as a student hangout, Edixon-Olson is very happy with her choice of location. “The amount of people that come down here during the day, if you look down the street there are all different ages, and they stop and they want to come in,” she said. “Water Street is Water Street, and we love it.”  

To help keep her business focused on the surrounding community, Edixon-Olson said they plan on trying to stay local when purchasing their produce. “We don’t want to have to spend our money elsewhere,” she said. “We would rather buy from the local farmers, and the cheeses and the meats we can find in Wisconsin.”

Customers can buy cheese or charcuterie boards as well as desserts. The bistro will also offer many unique types of wine. “We will be offering different things throughout, like when we open we will be offering 50 Shades of Grey which everyone is buzzing about, so we will have that by the glass,” Edixon-Olson said.

Along with their focus on wine, Splash will also feature many craft beers, such as Spotted Cow. (If people are looking for typical domestic beers, they will need to look somewhere else.) Edixon-Olson said she wants Splash to be a place where people can come and try new drinks and explore new foods.

The menu was created to include many different items such as caviar, and all desserts are priced at $4. Edixon-Olson said they wanted to make sure the menu and prices were reasonable, which is why they pay attention to what is in season and don’t purchase products that would cost customers a significant amount. “You are going to be full, but you are going to walk out and feel healthy,” Edixon-Olson said.

Making sure their customers feel at home in Splash is what the owners wish to accomplish. “We are both the type of people where we are both going to remember what you drank or what you ordered,” Edixon-Olson said. “We are people pleasers, and we like to make people comfortable.”

Splash does not have a set opening date, but soon the Chippewa Valley will be ready to welcome a new niche eatery just in time to celebrate the upcoming holidays.

To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/splashwinebistrowaterstreet

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