By Jessica Stamp
From empty bottles hanging on the wall, to a variety of comfy chairs to sit in, D.O.P.E. Cider House and Winery offers a space for people to unwind with a variety of seltzers and ciders.
D.O.P.E. stands for dwelling on positive energy and is a cider and wine manufacturer with a tap room space.
Hannah Ferguson, winemaker and owner of D.O.P.E., wanted people to feel like they are at a coffeehouse — but with a happy hour.
“I usually like to say [D.O.P.E.] has the coffeehouse feel with a happy-hour vibe,” Ferguson said. “If you are looking for a chill space and just like a very chill comfortable vibe with some good music and conversation.”
It offers eight taps of cider or seltzer and will have wine available in April and around the beginning of May.
Before she founded D.O.P.E., Ferguson started winemaking as a hobby 11 years ago. Family and friends encouraged Ferguson to pursue the business and she originally wanted to open just a winery.
“To open up a winery, that was kind of the original plan,” Ferguson said. “Knowing and seeing a lot of the craft breweries started off as home breweries and they were doing it more on a bigger production scale so I felt I would be able to do that more on a winery scale.”
After homebrewing for a while, Ferguson got into making cider and realized how similar the process is to making wine, which rearranged Ferguson’s business plan.
“I realized cider is the same process as wine and after doing the research I saw that cider was a growing industry that’s kind of between beer and wine,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson was born and raised on the South Side of Youngstown and wanted D.O.P.E. to be in the Youngstown area.
“It was always Youngstown. That’s where I was born and raised … I grew up on the South Side, my heart always wanted to be in Youngstown,” Ferguson said. “It’s a part of me.”
Ferguson said D.O.P.E. is a place for anybody looking for a comfortable environment to be in.
D.O.P.E. is located next to Penguin City on East Federal Street in downtown Youngstown and is open Thursday to Sunday in the evenings.
Thursday and Friday: 4 to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 12 to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 12 to 5 p.m.