The Buzz: Tandem wine, beer and spirits shop to reopen after big move – Appleton Post Crescent

Maureen Wallenfang

Appleton Post-Crescent

Published 5:20 PM EDT Oct 10, 2019

George Koenig loves a good restoration project, whether it’s refurbishing a bicycle, a VW or a building. 

But he bit off a lot when he decided to renovate a space in the 1898 Edison Building for his Tandem wine, beer and spirits boutique. 

“It was a reckless swan dive into a vision,” he said. 

The retail portion of the shop will open at 2 p.m. Friday.

It’s at 101 W. Edison Ave., facing Olde Oneida Street across from Union Jack in Appleton’s river flats. 

Koenig searched for a new space for his business more than a year. He felt the eclectic, vintage, artsy vibe of the shop wasn’t in tune with his then College Avenue strip mall location. 

“I was looking for a place that would have the spirit and personality of the business,” he said. 

He leased space in the Edison Building, which originally housed the city’s electric street cars, and did a lot of the interior demolition and sandblasting himself. 

He exposed original brick. He added an old door from Urban Evolutions. Old City of Appleton street bricks now pave the shop’s entrance from the parking lot. Elmer Preuss, a restoration carpenter, was lead contractor on the project.

“We’re blending a lot of Appleton history into the project,” Koenig said. 

At the 11th hour, he put a post on Facebook asking customers for help moving bottles. Six people showed up and he paid them in gift cards. 

Tandem’s lounge is still a few weeks away from completion. After that, Koenig’s next project will be restoring his six vintage tandem bikes. He wants to loan them to customers for a spin on neighboring trails. 

Also in the works: Acoca Coffee owner Bill Wetzel is building Acoca Flats, a coffee outpost, in a side room at Tandem. It will be ready to serve espresso, coffee, bakery and ice cream by early spring. 

Tandem will hold a grand opening benefit for Catalpa Health in December, tying back to Koenig’s prior profession as a social worker. Info: Facebook 

Contact Maureen Wallenfang at 920-993-7116 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @wallenfang.

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