Rose & Wren's

Ericka Billue and Laura Goodrich are best friends and co-owners of Rose & Wren’s Playhouse Cafe in Waleska, scheduled to open in April.

WALESKA--Rose & Wren’s Playhouse Cafe, a coffee house with space for live music and local art, will soon open in the more than 100-year-old house that was previously Eagle’s Nest in Waleska.

The cafe, owned by Ericka Billue of Canton and Laura Goodrich of Emerson, is in its final stages before it opens this spring.

Billue and Goodrich are close friends, and they decided while changing careers to start a business together that could work for their families. The cafe is named after the pair’s teenage daughters, who were born close to the same time. They want to open a “leisure” space where people can relax, spend quality time together and enjoy the arts, Goodrich said in an interview with the Tribune Wednesday.

“This is for the community, for families and for ourselves, so we can have something that’s beautiful and family-oriented,” she said.

The coffee for Rose & Wren’s is purchased from Conversion Coffee. The owners plan to have the grounds roasted in Atlanta and brought to the cafe the next day.

“It’s about the freshest coffee Canton can find,” Billue said.

There will also be full tea service, with specialty blended loose-leaf teas, though a vendor hasn’t been decided yet.

The food, for which which the owners have been perfecting recipes at home, will consist of paninis, wraps and shareable foods like charcuterie boards, with fresh ingredients selected from Forerunner Foods. The two owners have extensive experience in the restaurant industry, they said.

“Nutrition is a huge focus,” Billue said, adding that she and Goodrich will work to accommodate any dietary needs.

For those who want something sweet, there will be scoops from Flux Ice Cream as well as local pie by the slice. They’ll also serve Georgia-based beers and wines.

The cafe will also be a space for live music, and local artists, including Billue’s husband “Catfish” Hill Roberts, are looking forward to playing in the relaxed, intimate venue.

Billue and Goodrich said they expect to open sometime in April. Shortly after opening, the owners hope to feature work from local artists, which may include students at Reinhardt University, in a gallery space in the front of the building. Plans for later phases of the business include using the outdoor space for larger musical performances and special events and developing a garden.

Before the cafe owners started leasing the building, it was abandoned for years after pizza and wings bar Eagle’s Nest Pizza closed.

Although Rose &  Wren’s is months from opening, it has already received a warm welcome locally. Residents have taken an interest in the new business moving in.

“People are very eager,” Billue said. “Just about every day we get people coming, wanting to see what we’ve done with the place.”

Some have taken on volunteering with the owners to help renovate the building and get it ready for opening day.

“We had a local gentleman help remodel bathrooms and the front porch. Another man did rewiring and electrical work--he was licensed, of course,” Goodrich said. “People introduce themselves and offer their services in any way they can. They’ve been very kind.”

Rose & Wrens Playhouse Cafe is located at 6874 Reinhardt College Parkway in Waleska. For more information, visit www.roseandwrensplayhouse.com.

Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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