Illinois-Based Real Estate Developer Secures Unique Location for Second Innovative Winery in the Prairie State; Slated to Open in Spring 2020

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA – (January 10, 2020) – Waters Edge Wineries®, an innovative urban winery system bringing the cultural experience of wine to communities across the country, today announced it has signed a franchise agreement to open a second Waters Edge Winery & Bistro in Illinois, located in the city of Jacksonville. This new location will join 11 others operating throughout California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. The new franchise group, Hayes Wineries LLC, will be owned by local real estate developer Mike Hayes. The new location at 1061 East Morton Avenue is set to open in Spring 2020. Waters Edge Winery & Bistro of Jacksonville will be sited on top of 17 acres of lush forestry and rolling hills, offering a unique and enjoyable environment for wine lovers.

“We are excited to continue our expansion into the Midwest, working with our new owner, Mike Hayes, to bring the Waters Edge concept to Jacksonville this spring,” said Ken Lineberger, president and CEO of Waters Edge Wineries. “We look forward to providing the community with a new wine tasting experience. With Mike at the helm, we are confident he will provide local wine lovers and diners with a fun and inspiring setting to grow their passion for wine and create cherished memories in the process.”

Following a career as a real estate developer in the Midwest, Hayes was interested in pursuing a new venture in the wine industry. Hayes is no stranger to leading his own company. His array of experience includes ownership of real estate development and brokerage companies, an ice cream manufacturer and stints as CEO and CFO of various public companies.

“Having been born and lived in Jacksonville most of my life, I’m very excited to bring such a fun and one-of-a-kind concept into our community,” said Hayes. “After meeting Ken and the Waters Edge Wineries team, I immediately knew that the special innovative winery franchise system they’ve created was a perfect fit for the picturesque site we are developing next to the new Country Club Hills subdivision. We plan to add event space very soon to host weddings, reunions and other events, and look forward to creating amazing wines and dining experiences for everyone to enjoy.”

Combining elements of the traditional winery experience with the popular wine bar concept, Waters Edge Winery & Bistro locations serve as a lively hub within its communities, offering bistro-style artisanal selections including appetizers, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and desserts, custom bottle labeling as personalized gifts, private tasting areas for groups, a wine club and more. This gives guests the opportunity to engage intimately with what has historically been a somewhat exclusive lifestyle, limited to select regions.

As an emerging franchise concept, the Waters Edge Winery & Bistro model is ideal for entrepreneurs passionate about wine who seek a way to share their love and knowledge without being in the agriculture business. Franchise owners receive comprehensive training on the micro-winery tank system and are provided with pre-opening training courses, both hands-on and classroom based, to help prepare for the launch of their winery. The company also offers social media and marketing support to help franchise owners realize success.

Last year, Waters Edge Wineries announced eight new franchise agreements to introduce its concepts into multiple areas around the U.S. Waters Edge Wineries® currently operates 11 locations in California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas with expansion in North Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky and Montana. Each Waters Edge Winery & Bistro location is individually owned and operated by local entrepreneurs in their communities.

For more information on Waters Edge Wineries or for franchising information, contact 909-GOT-WINE, visit or email [email protected].


About Waters Edge Wineries®

California-based Waters Edge Wineries is an innovative urban winery system bringing the cultural experience of wine to communities across the country. Each Waters Edge Winery & Bistro location combines the very best of a winery and wine bar in one versatile model that can be located anywhere, regardless of topography or agricultural factors. Founded in 2004 by husband and wife team Ken and Angela Lineberger, Waters Edge Wineries currently operates 11 Waters Edge Winery & Bistro locations in California, Colorado, North Carolina Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.  The company caters to entrepreneurs who are seeking a fun, exciting career where they can share their passion for wine while creating memorable guest experiences.  



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