Wine Bar Update 11-11-2013

The wine bar is coming along great!  I have been shopping (one of my favorite pastimes) for everything from bar stools, to mirrors to lights to wine.  The mirrors for the bathrooms have already arrived and the bar stools have shipped.  They should be here this week.

I have also been working.  As most of you know, the overall look for the wine bar is vintage using repurposed items where possible.  I purchased tables and chairs from a restaurant that had closed its doors a few years ago.  They have been in storage all this time so we are now tasked with cleaning them up and making them presentable.  My son-in-law is working on the tables.  He is stripping them down and sanding them lightly so we can refinish them but still maintain the vintage look.  Hubby and I have been doing the chairs.  They are just getting an intense scrubbing with a rejuvenating product called WATCO.

Before "Rejuvenating"

Before “Rejuvenation”

After "Rejuvenation"

After “Rejuvenation”

I am going to save pictures of the tables until we are ready to open as the finish on them is such an integral part of our overall look and besides, we need to have some surprises.  😉

We have also been working on the menu and playing around with prepping some of the items.  I plan to offer a “Red Wine Lover’s Trio” consisting of strawberries or cherries, chocolate and pecans.  I would like to do a “White Wine Lover’s Trio” as well but am having trouble coming up with just the right combination of foods.  I would really appreciate your input and suggestions.  I am thinking of apples drizzled with caramel syrup or a dried fruit such as apricots, cheese, and almonds.  Thoughts???

Before 1 Menu1

Poles drizzled with Caramel, cheese, and Almonds

Apples drizzled with Caramel, cheese, and Almonds

We have also met a distributor who specializes in organic and sustainable farmed vineyards.  Everything they have available is estate grown and from small family run wineries with small production.

We anticipate opening by the first of the year so please join us on Facebook for your personal invitation to our soft opening for Facebook followers only.  www.facebook.com/latitudewinebar

Wine Bar Update: 9-23-2013

“Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, hang onto the affirmative, and don’t mess with Mr. in between.”  I saw this post on a friend’s Facebook page today.  I had been struggling with how to approach today’s wine bar update but when I read this post, I decided to accentuate the positive.

There’s not been much going on with the wine bar.  I am pulling documents together for the attorney to close on the loan – yeah, I know, BORING!  But I still wanted to stick to my promise and publish an update.

Knowing that the loan has been approved, I decided it was time to get serious about wine, after all, this is a wine bar.  I have met with a couple of different distributors to discuss our wine menu and start sampling wines.  As much as I love sampling new wines, this can actually be very daunting.  I know if a wine isn’t great or doesn’t sell that I can order more every day of the week, but I don’t want to waste money on inventory that doesn’t turn over (quickly) and I don’t want to start out by giving a bad impression.

I will be tasting all the wines before I buy, but to find a starting point, I decided to go online to all my favorite restaurants and pull their wine lists.  I am in the process of comparing these lists to see which wines have made more than one list.  Even though the distributors are making suggestions, I will specifically request wines from my discovery.

The next item I have shopped for is the back bar.  Basically what I needed was to find a design that fits the look and feel of the rest of the bar.  Well I’ve found that at a restaurant supplier called Andy Thornton.

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This great vintage look will be perfect.  I will get two of them and have one over each wine refrigerator that sits along the back bar.  This is actually going to save money over the contractor’s quote for building the back bar from scratch.  The shelf is  too tall as it is so we will remove the top row of cubbies and flip them upside down.  This will create a row of open cubbies that will then be attached to the bathroom wall by the vanities to hold paper towels and soap so that the vintage look is carried all the way through.

On a side note (still positive):  This process of starting the bar has caused helped me lose weight.  My pants now come off without having to unbutton them.  It’s really not a sexy look!  I will definitely have to do some shopping before the bar opens.

Our Facebook following has increased by more than 20% over the last week.  Join us on Facebook to be invited to a special Grand Opening and to know about all our events and dinners.

Wine Bar Update – 9-9-2013

It is really hard to believe it has been six weeks since I updated everyone on the status of Latitude Wine Bar.  It continues to be the SLOWEST moving project I have ever been involved in.

On a brighter note, we have sold our house in Winston Salem, NC.  It was on the market for 4 months which appears to be a fairly quick sale.  As of today, we have furniture sitting in two different storage units, at my daughter’s house and in a temporary living arrangement my husband has been forced into as we wait for all the pieces to fall into place for the wine bar.

We have also entered into a contract to buy a house in Bluffton.  It is a really cute little house (to better define little, the new house is literally half the size of the old house).  We have sold some furniture, had a huge yard sale and donated numerous items to charity.  We know that we will have to sell even more furniture once we get into the new house and determine exactly what we need.

These are two huge steps out of our laundry list of things we are trying to do.  It is a load off my mind and has allowed me to become focused once again on the wine bar, blogging and social media.  I haven’t lost focus on the wine bar, but packing, moving and going back and forth between South and North Carolina has pulled me away from blogging and social media.  (It is good to be back!)

Now back to the wine bar!  About three weeks ago, I received a phone call from my contractor.  They had been getting quotes in from sub-contractors and they were way over budget.  The cost of the build-out for he wine bar actually went up by 45% – yes, you read that right!  Not 5 or 10%, but a full 45%.  I was in shock – that was a lot of money.  I told them I just couldn’t do it, I was going to pull the plug.  Stunned silence on the other end of the phone!  After several seconds, a very subdued voice ask me to give them a chance to get more quotes in and to work out some other issues related to the cost of the build-out.  It took them until this past weekend to get me the revised quote.  It is still 15% above the original estimate, but is doable.  I am going to let go of some other items I wanted – such as the dishwasher (glasses will now be done by hand, at least in the beginning) and the awning over the windows will wait until next Spring.

Then we have the Small Business Loan – OMG!!!  This is one of those things that should have been approved in 7-10 business days; but no, the SBA was behind so it was going to take 30 days.  And they took the full 30 days, but then all they came back with was a request for more info.  I have been supplying more info for the last two weeks.  Hopefully today wrapped up all of their requests.  It is definitely a balancing act!

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I have met a couple of distributors and have enjoyed some really good wine tastings.  The business plan is solid.  And I promise there will be a special post put up the day they actually start construction (you may not be able to stand me!)!!!

Cheers!!!

Follow us on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/LatitudeWineBar

Wine Bar Update 7-22

I know it has been a couple of weeks since I posted any updates about Latitude Wine Bar.  Apparently it has something to do with my organizational skills.    I like to think I can multitask, but the reality is that I can’t.  I get sidetracked easily and completely lose track of what I was doing to begin with.  However, the last couple of weeks have been full of wine bar stuff!

The bank finally approved my loan for the wine bar and as a result, they have pushed everything up to the Small Business Administration.  Fingers crossed – we should hear back from within the next 7-10 business days.  Wish us luck!  🙂

I have been working closely with the architect.  We have the basic plans drawn up, but we are still tweaking some of the details.  I have picked out the lights, the color for the bathrooms and the flooring.  However, I am having trouble finding the “process” and/or product to create the walls and the look I am going for in the bar.  I am searching desperately for a product that will give Latitude the look of a copper patina.  I know that years ago Genevieve Gorder did this on a wall on “Trading Spaces.”  I have searched everything I can think of to find the products I need for the walls to get this look but I can’t find what I need.  I desperately need some input – PLEASE!!!

I have finally found the perfect bar stools though.  These are killer!!!  They are not reclaimed and don’t have the appearance of being repurposed, but they just fit.  They are one of those items that once I saw them, I just knew.  They are actually fairly modern.  What do you think?

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My vision for the bar is for most everything to have the look of having been repurposed and/or reclaimed with a couple of ultra modern pieces inserted to create interest.

More wine tastings tomorrow with the distributor – Life is good.

Please like us on Facebook to be part of the guest list for your special grand opening of Latitude Wine Bar.

Latitude Logo Apparel

As most of you know, I am opening a wine bar in Bluffton, South Carolina – just outside of Hilton Head. The process has been (much) slower than I ever could have imagined, but things have started moving forward. Today we got t-shirts in with our logo. We wanted the shirts so that we could start wearing them out in public to build an awareness of the wine bar. I actually wasn’t planning on selling them, but I have had several people say they would like one.

Logoed computer bag and t-shirt

Logoed computer bag and t-shirt

The shirts are great!  We bought them through a local company called New South Shirts.  The price was very reasonable and everything looks so good.  These shirts are embroidered and for a one-time setup fee, I can now go back to New South Shirts any time and order additional merchandise – embroidered or screen-printed.

New South Shirts

New South Shirts

As a matter of fact, New South Shirts has been so easy to work with (love their staff!!!) that we have decided to order extra shirts to give away on Facebook.  Obviously we are trying to build up our following on FB as well so for a chance to get one of these shirts, please click here and give us a thumb’s up.

We will be hosting a special “Grand Opening” for our Facebook followers as well so stay tuned for the announcement!

What do you think?  Are you as excited as we are???

      Ladies Logoed Shirt

Ladies Logoed Shirt

Side Bar:  I have decided to dedicate Monday to blogging about Latitude Wine Bar.  I originally set up a separate blog for the wine bar, but it is just too much to keep up with and as one avid follower pointed out, Latitude Wine Bar will eventually have its own web site and won’t really need a blog dedicated to this journey.  I appreciate all of you being part of this experience and hope to one day serve you a glass of vino.

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