Uncorking a New Restaurant PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Palacios   
Monday, 13 December 2010 07:00

Uncorking a New Restaurant
With Cincinnati's rich wine history, there's still room for more, especially for this new wine shop/upscale restaurant. Discover how you can expand your palate in a comfortable atmosphere.

Cincinnati and wine go way back. After all, you can credit the Catawba grape for the city's Queen City nickname. And we boast Meier's Wine Cellars, Ohio's oldest and largest winery.


Founder John Michael Meier used to grow his grapes on the land where Kenwood Towne Centre now stands, so it only makes sense that the newest addition to the city's wine offerings follows the shopping center trend by nestling into Rookwood Pavilion.


That's right, The Wine Guy Bistro, Wine Shop and Wine Bar opened its Cincinnati location Nov. 12. And just because it's the new guy in town doesn't mean it lacks inventory.


"We have capacity for 3,000 different labels to sell, and each of those wines usually is about three deep. Plus, we have two tables that hold about 40 cases of wine for display purposes as well," Founder and Owner Craig Decker says. "The thing that makes us more unique than anything else is the concept of having a full restaurant and a full retail wine shop."


So in addition to being able to browse thousands of bottles of wine, you actually can sample the wines over lunch or dinner. The menu features high-end classics like steak, seafood and pasta, and you can order most of the dishes in two portion sizes: entree or tapas.


Beyond the food, the wine menu includes eight different flights of wine with the wines within each flight changing quarterly, or if you prefer a whole bottle of wine, The Wine Guy only charges a $10 corkage fee above state minimum prices for all bottles of wine.


And this is where the benefit of a shop and restaurant combination comes in handy. If you try a wine you like, you don't have to search around for where to get a bottle. "They're able to walk over to the retail shop or tell their server or bartender, 'Can you just add that to my bill? I want to take that home with me,' and know that they have a place where they can actually pick it up from a convenience standpoint," Decker says.


In addition to being both a restaurant and a wine shop in one, The Wine Guy is unique in the labor of love put into creating the store. "I hand make all the tables myself. I handmade all the bar myself. I did all the stonework myself. I built all the racks myself, and I've done this at every store," Decker says. "So when you come in and take a look around you, just know that we built everything on our own."


For more information about The Wine Guy, check out or head to Rookwood Pavilion where Smith & Hawken used to be (right next to Starbucks).



Photo courtesy of The Wine Guy

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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