The renovated warehouse that Bull City Ciderworks moved into earlier in the year is about to get a second tenant, this one focusing on another drink of choice, wine!
The Wine Feed opened its first retail/bar location on Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh four years ago. “At the time, we felt there were no true wine bars where people could go to enjoy glasses of high quality wine, supported by a very knowledgeable and friendly staff (we avoid “stuffy” at all costs),” says co-owner Philip Rubin. So, they set out to create their own “hybrid” model of a small footprint retail space with an intimate bar setting. A place where friends could gather to share great wine and purchase bottles to take home as well, and now they are bringing that concept to Durham.
Read our Q&A with Rubin to see what they have in store for their new shop, which will open on S. Roxboro Street in early 2018.
WINE FEED: We have enjoyed the food and beverage scene in Durham for many years. Being Raleigh natives, going to some of Durham’s great restaurants always felt like a mini-vacation and special treat. We selected Durham for our second location because we feel like there is a lot of crossover between the two cities. Many of our Raleigh customers work in Durham; and likewise, many people we know who live in Durham frequent Raleigh for social and business engagements. Having the Durham location will allow us provide our great wines to more people no matter where they live in the Triangle!
BBC: What is the draw of opening in this particular building/spot?
WINE FEED: We looked at several spaces in Durham before choosing this one. Honestly, it was a bit of a love at first sight. This building offered us more indoor and outdoor space, windows for natural light, an open floor plan, and PARKING (the latter being very useful for helping people load cases of wine into their cars). As far as the location, we were drawn to the fact that there is a tremendous amount of development on that side of Durham with apartments, offices, and other retail filling up the lots across the street from us.
BBC: What do you have planned for the Durham space?
WINE FEED: On the right side of the building (facing the front), we will have an enlarged version of what we have in Raleigh: a retail section with wines from all over the world, and a larger bar for people to enjoy glasses, tasting flights, and snacks. That side of our space will also have a nice lounge area and indoor fireplace that we will be able to utilize for smaller private groups. The biggest difference will be our large event space on the left side of the building (the other half). This room will suit groups up to about 125 people.BBC: Are there any particular countries or regions where you specialize in obtaining your wines?
WINE FEED: One of the many reasons our team enjoys wine so much is because it is a truly global industry. Having lived in places like France, Spain, and Australia really opened our eyes to how you can find great wine anywhere. As part of our culture, we really focus on an individual wine’s quality and style as opposed its brand name (and even where it is from). This is to share with our customers that there is much more to wine than common stereotypes lead us to believe. Our retail section is more compact than big box stores because we rotate our selections frequently to highlight the wines we are most excited about sharing. That being said, we offer next-day on demand special ordering for thousands of bottles that may not physically be in the store.
BBC: What will the section be like in terms of price?
WINE FEED: We have always focused on wines of tremendous value, so the majority of our inventory will be in the $10-30 price range. That being said, there are many producers making world-class wines which merit higher price points. This could be due to limited production quantities, specific vineyard location and climate (terroir), or even the grape variety itself. For our more expensive selections, they are truly some of the best wines we taste. We are not carrying them because they are expensive, but instead because they are excellent and special!
Napa has fought for many years to be considered on par with other prestigious regions, and today their wines are absolutely considered to be among the best in the world. When there is demand for a certain brand or region of course they can demand a premium price for their products. We regularly source wines from regions all over the world that we feel are on par with Napa wines and often 1/4 to 1/3 the price. This selection process and offering has helped us develop trust and loyalty from our customers.When The Wine Feed opens in early 2018, it will feature an indoor and outdoor wine bar and lounge area that offers wines by the glass, tasting flights and snacks for pairing with wine. It will be open seven days a week with the later hours being on Friday and Saturday.
An expanded retail wine section will also offer a diverse selection of wines to take home and the adjoining event space, Pine & Poplar, will accommodate up to 125 people for wedding receptions, corporate functions or private gatherings.
Just east of the American Tobacco district, this area is becoming the epicenter for craft alcohol with The Wine Feed joining neighboring businesses Bull City Ciderworks, Ponysaurus Brewing Company, The Brothers Vilgalys Spirits and Honeygirl Meadery.