PITTSFIELD — The slogans come to Susan Jansen when she's working out on her treadmill.
Silly sayings like, "In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is freedom; in water there is bacteria." She writes them on a sandwich board, which is placed in front of the street entrance to her newly opened wine bar.
"If I can make one person laugh that's good enough for me," Jansen said.
Having fun and relaxing is the ambience that Jansen is hoping patrons will experience at her new business, Regions Wine Bar & Nosh, which recently opened in the Crawford Square Building at 137 North St.
A veteran of 30 years in the food and beverage industry, which included stints as a business owner and as the beverage manager at the Country Club of Pittsfield, Jansen decided to opened Regions because she missed being in charge of her own establishment.
"I wanted something small of my own," Jansen said. "I had a restaurant in the past and I missed that."
Jansen was part of the ownership group that started the former Halpin's Grub & Grog, a popular sports bar in Lenox, but she left the group before Halpin's went out of business. She also worked at several other Berkshire County establishments, including Cranwell Resort and the former South Mountain Grill.
"I enjoy wine," Jansen said. "I wanted something lower key that draws a classier crowd. I wanted it to be upscale and very pretty."
Regions, which is located in a space formerly occupied by a small dress shop, has a small bar with white leather stools, soft lighting, and comfortable tables and chairs. It has seating capacity for 49 patrons.
Regions is the second wine bar to give it a go in downtown Pittsfield. The first establishment, Brix Wine Bar on West Street, closed in 2012 after a seven-year run. Jansen is hoping to fill the void that Brix left behind.
"I just thought there was a need for a small cozy wine bar that had a very quiet peaceful setting, so that people could come and enjoy a glass of wine without the noisiness of a regular bar," said Jansen, who is Regions only employee.
Regions sells wine by the glass or bottle, and also has 10 craft beers. Jansen named the business Regions because her wines come from different areas of the world like New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain and the United States. Prices for wine range from $6-to-$10 a glass to $28-to-$60 per bottle.
She refers to her food as "nosh plates" because they contain items you can eat "entirely with your fingers" like cheese and crackers.
Jansen said she spent less than $100,000 renovating the space, which housed a jewelry store before the dress shop. Lee Bank employee Mark McKenna helped her finance the venture.
"He was a great deal of help," Jansen said.
Regions is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.