Why L’Ecole N° 41 Chose Its New Tasting Room Location

Mixed-use developments and master-planned communities that combine housing, retail and community gathering space are becoming increasingly common in urban areas, with housing and commercial developers trying to sell a lifestyle as much as they are a place to live.

In the Seattle area, MainStreet Property Group is taking it a step further, creating a feature called Wine Walk Row in its new development named “The Schoolhouse District,” which involves a historic schoolhouse building as its focal point. The brand new development’s feature is intended to create an area for tasting rooms, wine bars and craft breweries accessible to residents and pedestrians in general.

Four decades after opening, Walla Walla institution L’Ecole N° 41 is opening its first location in Western Washington, and has chosen the new MUD for its Seattle-market entry.

Something felt right about opening a new location in The Schoolhouse District to L’Ecole owner and managing winemaker Marty Clubb, who said they plan to open their new location in Woodinville in Summer 2022.

The design of the new space will take inspiration from L’Ecole’s Historic Frenchtown Schoolhouse tasting room located in the Walla Walla Valley. Clubb said they were taking the plunge to take advantage of the vital Puget Sound Market.

The new Schoolhouse District incorporates modern architecture built around a renovated historic schoolhouse building – soon to be occupied by a second location of Walla Walla Steak Co. 

Clubb said they had long-considered expanding their flagship Walla Walla Valley location into the Seattle area, and particularly the Woodinville area.

“The whole prospect felt serendipitous,” Clubb said. “We are looking forward to providing a L’Ecole experience in a totally new space, yet with a familiar feel.”

Tasting rooms located along Wine Walk Row will have roll-up garage doors to allow for a seamless outdoor/indoor experience that invites passersby to stop in.

Clubb’s daughter Rebecca Clubb-Olson will serve as design consultant on the project in coordination with Boxwood Architects.

L’Ecole plans to kick off its opening with a month of new vintage releases and select library offerings pulled from their Schoolhouse cellar in the Walla Walla Valley. L’Ecole’s Vins de L’Ecole Wine Club members will also be invited to join a special grand opening event.

(Photo: An artist’s rendering of the Wine Walk. Courtesy of MainStreet Property Group)

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