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Coupeville art gallery closes doors
After 17 years, a popular Front Street art gallery is closing its doors.
The Windjammer Gallery, located across the street from Mariners Court, shuttered its doors Friday to make room for a wine shop.
“We’re retiring,” owner Chuck Poust said the day before the closing. “It demands a lot of your time. We were only closed three days out of the year.”
Poust and his wife Sandy, opened the gallery in the mid-1990s, featured paintings, sculptures and jewelry created by artists throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Poust said he and Sandy fell in love with Coupeville about five years before he purchased the building that houses the gallery, and wanted to retire here.
There are two parts to the Windjammer business. The gallery was housed in the front part of the building facing Front Street and a custom framing business in the back of the building.
While the gallery portion of the building is closing, the frame shop will remain open. Longtime employee Brandy Benson, who has worked at Windjammer for 16 years, will take over ownership of the frame shop. It will eventually be cordoned off from the former gallery space.
Benson takes over a business with which she is familiar and has a record of success.
“We’re leaving it in excellent hands,” Poust said of Benson.
A new tenant is already lined up to take the spot of Poust’s gallery. Vail Wine Shop, which has been in business for the past two years, is set to move into the brown building. The Vail’s are busy adjusting the space to fit their needs. They installed equipment needed to serve food and replaced part of the floor.
Patsy Vail said she knew Poust from her days as a photographer. When Patsy and Larry heard of upcoming closure of the gallery, they decided to move in. Their new spot is twice the size of their former home and they will be able to serve small plates thanks to the help of a partnership with the Oystercatcher.
Poust has been active in the community outside of owning his business. He used to be a member of the former Design Review Board and he is the current president of the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association. With Poust retiring, he has some more time to visit his children in the Midwest and will now have time to travel.