Reality TV Stars Brewing Something New in South County | Messages
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI – It’s safe to say that the might of the Bachelor Nation came to the fore this week at the new Audrey’s Coffee House and Lounge in South County Commons.
A line of fans waiting to get into a crowded house wrapped around the outside of Audrey’s during a soft opening cocktail party Thursday night. Four hundred people came.
While special seasonal cocktails like “Kevin McCallister’s Hot Spiked Apple Cider” and “The Griswald Family Honey Crisp Sangria” undoubtedly have an appeal, it was owner and “Bachelor in Paradise” actor Jared Haibon and his wife Ashley Iaconetti who made the crowds.
“It was wild,” said Iaconetti. “We’ve had a soft open for about a week now.”
For several months now, their project has been causing a stir in the former Brewed Awakenings room.
During an impromptu ribbon cutting on Saturday afternoon, the two held their spirited three-year-old Pomeranian and Bichon, Lois Lane, and kissed between people who approached them for a picture with the celebs.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business and a dream has come true for me,” said Haibon, 33.
It was less crowded, but still full on Saturday lunchtime. Haibon hopped back and forth between taking orders at the checkout, serving drinks, checking supplies in the background and greeting visitors in the spacious lounge area.
“A café with a martini wine bar in the evening,” said Iaconetti, 33, describing the couple’s vision for Audrey’s. It has a bar area, but it’s not necessarily a bar, club, or party venue.
“When you say Martini Lounge, it’s a little different,” she said. “It’s a place to grab some friends or a date and relax at night.”
Haibon took Iaconetti to Brewed Awakenings in the Commons when the two were just friends. The location stayed true to him and the opportunity for the couple to do something there opened at the beginning of the year. You have around 20 employees and you are looking for something more.
The Final Rose, The Most Dramatic Mocha Ever, and other coffee beverages on the menu are an ode to Bachelor Nation. For the Christmas season, the mixed drinks have names from Christmas offers and Christmas films.
The menu includes bagels and pastries as well as a variety of typical charcuterie boards.
Former “Bachelorette” actor Haibon and Iaconetti, a former “Bachelor” actor, met in 2015 on the set of ABC’s spin-off “Bachelor in Paradise”. It wasn’t an instant romance, but a growing deep friendship that developed after dating for a few years.
Haibon is from Rhode Island and after a few years wanted to return home with Iaconetti, a native of Virginia, on the west coast.
“He was very much over it,” she said of Haibon’s LA time.
They married in Newport in 2019 and moved to the smallest state in March of this year.
The couple’s life is an uninterrupted whirlwind. Not only are you opening the doors at Audrey’s (named for Iaconetti’s mother), you’re about to shut down a house in West Greenwich. They are also expecting a child in February.
“We thought we were stressing ourselves out as much as possible,” joked Haibon.
Haibon has a background in the hospitality industry that serves him well. Before and during his time on the TV show, he was general manager of both Providence Oyster Bar and Federal Hill Taphouse.
His father, Fred Haibon, makes sure everything runs smoothly in the back of the house, Iaconetti said.
“He’s great at mingling and when we need manual labor here,” she said.
When visitors get to Audrey’s opinion that it is a wall-to-wall shrine for the reality TV show putting its owners on the map, they will be surprised.
“On Monday evenings we drink wine and watch ‘The Bachelor’. Tuesday morning we drink coffee and recapitulate. “
That large wooden sign on the mantelpiece above the stone fireplace that is a centerpiece of Audrey’s is one of the few allusions to the show at the establishment.
“We didn’t want to go overboard,” said Iaconetti.
In another connection with “The Bachelor,” Audrey sources coffee from Generous Coffee Co., founded by former “Bachelor” Ben Higgins, a season 20 star of the show.
Instead, most of the interior design reflects Haibon and Iaconetti’s personal tastes.
On the stern of his boat, the Orca, hangs a kitsch painting of the crispy “Jaws” captain Quint, who pours a can of Narragansett beer into the open mouth of the shark. Iaconetti found this on Etsy, she said.
The couple also posted counterfeit newspaper front pages celebrating their favorite films – Titanic for them, Superman and Scream for him.
The couple also fell in love with the industrial, open-ceiling look that existed before they took over the space and decided to leave it as it is.
“We were really lucky,” said Haibon. “We love this room. Ashley decorated it great. And the stone chimney that was here is clutch. “
It only took a few months to transform the interior into their vision of a cozy coffee house for the daytime and a relaxed nightspot to hang out with friends over a drink.
“We got very good bones. We’ve done an aesthetic redesign, ”said Iaconetti.
A large mural by Abbi Cates pays tribute to Ocean State with an anchor, The Bachelor with a rose, and Audrey’s with a coffee cup. It is an image that attracts the attention of many college students, tourists, and fans who stop by from the very first days of business.
In December, the place is decorated with Christmas decorations, wreaths with large red bows, trees and a winter village exhibition.
Haibon and Iaconetti both take time to meet with visitors, talk about the show and their new project, and snap photos. That doesn’t bother the down-to-earth couple.
“We love talking to Bachelor Nation. It’s really fun and they are a very supportive group, ”said Iaconetti. “And Rhode Island is very supportive.”
Haibon said he appreciated the chance to return home and start a business with family and friends.
“I would never want to open a business anywhere but Rhode Island,” he said.