Taking that leap of faith when you step out of the dream and into reality. That's what this is, building out the bar, living the dream.
Having been dedicated to the wine lifestyle for the last several years, I have decided that it is time to take my passion to the next level. I am opening a wine bar.
For the last few years, I have been tweeting about and reviewing wine. I have researched and studied on my own to learn everything I can about wine. I have shared my views and experiences on wine with you through my blog, Red Wine Diva and on Twitter @RedWineDiva.
So here I am, ready to open Latitude Wine Bar in Bluffton, SC. Why Bluffton??? You should see this place! It is rich with history and beautiful scenery. Located just outside of Hilton Head Island, Bluffton has been a tourist destination since the 1700's. They still have a church that was built before the Civil War. The slogan for the city of Bluffton is "A State of Mind," and it is! Bluffton embodies the relaxed atmosphere of combining the wine lifestyle with a beach lifestyle. Calhoun Street in the Promenade area where the bar will be located runs down to the May River. The Promenade is set up so that people park and walk from bar to bar or to local shops and restaurants. The area is home to numerous artists who have quaint little shops up and down the road. Art, Wine, the Beach!
The bar will serve both domestic and international wine as well as craft beer. We will also sell wines by the bottle. We are setting up a wine club where members will have the opportunity to purchase wines at special discounts - we will pass along the specials given to us from the distributor to our wine club members. A few times a year, we will host wine dinners for our customers and wine club members to introduce them to new and fabulous wines. When possible, we will invite the winemaker to be present at the dinners because who knows more about the wine than the person who made it!
The bar has to be special! We want our customers to feel at home, like they are part of our extended familly. We want them to enjoy hanging out with us, returning often and bringing their friends. We want them to enjoy all that Bluffton has to offer.
We have already leased the space above. We have an architect working on the full design (pictures to come later with an update). We have picked out the wine racks (actually from another Kickstarter project we fell in love with - the STACT Modular Wine Wall system), all the kitchen equipment, the wine cooler and bought the tables and chairs.
The project is the build out of the bar counter and the tap system. I am hoping to use recalimed wood for the bar. The bar will seat 8-10 people and will wrap around the post you see in the first picture above. We will use either copper or stainless for the actual top of the bar. We are hoping to get drawings and pictures of the bar and post them here so that you can see them and give us your input, maybe even vote on the final look. We would so appreciate your help! The tap system consist of 8 taps and the cooling system for the 8 kegs as well. We will serve local craft beer from the Carolinas. And we can't wait for you to come visit us and tell us you saw us on Kickstarter!!!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
As with any project or business plan, there are challenges and hurdles we will have to overcome. For instance, I am just now working with the South Carolina ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) Board to get my permits to sell wine and beer. I don't foresee any problems as I have never had any legal issues but there are several steps and I have just began to climb them. I have already put the legal notice in the paper. This will run once a week for 3 weeks so that if anyone has any objections to the wine bar, they will have the opportunity to submit their objections to the licensing board. If there are objections, it will definitely slow down the process of getting my alcoholic beverage license.
I have already found the perfect space for the bar. We have negotiated the lease and have the key in hand. I have met with the architect. He is busy putting my vision put on paper so we can get a stamp of approval from the zoning board and start the build out. (I will post the drawings here as soon as I have them!)
There are lots of opportunities here - and the timing couldn't be better with the economy on the rise. and the city of Bluffton in this awesome growth phase.
If everything goes as planned, we will be open by the end of April - worse case scenario, the end of May, 2013.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.