The Greencork wine bar, coming to Cooper-Young this month, promises to delight wine enthusiasts in a setting as friendly as the corner café and as sophisticated as the wine of your choice.
I currently have a text circulating among friends to schedule a girls’ night out at Greencork, but I made two new friends during my first pre-opening visit. Robin Brown and Katy Sloan, the mother-daughter duo of Greencork, gave me a tour of Memphis’s first self-serve wine bar and shared the story of how they are bringing this new venue to life.
Robin and Katy want to de-mystify the wine experience for Mid-Southerners. “While art, science and a little magic surround the process of wine,” says Brown, “selecting the best wine comes down to what you like.” It’s as simple as stopping by, purchasing a pre-paid wine card and pressing a button to sample wine selections by the ounce. A loyalty program, complete with specials and earned rewards, is already in place for repeat patrons.
This self-service format allows a guest to mingle and taste several wines or fill their glass with 4- to 6-ounces of a favorite label. Four high-tech Italian wine dispensers, capable of keeping an open bottle of wine fresh for up to 60 days, present a rotation of 32 different wines. Two dispensers will offer a range of reds, and the other two, a variety of whites. Full bottles, splits and craft beers are available from the bar, and a selection of liquor drinks will be added soon. Sodas with a hint of flavor such as Ginger Peach, Basil Blackberry, and Cucumber Mint welcome guests who prefer a fresh, non-alcoholic beverage.
Complement your wine-tasting soiree with one of their picnic baskets for two, customized with seasonal appetizers, or try one of the fresh tasting plates, a menu of homemade specialties served in small portions. Some of Brown’s recent additions are Watermelon Gazpacho, Chicken and Dumplings, and Ice Cream Sliders.
“The primary goal here,” says Sloan, “is to make the wine selection process fully accessible to all.” Returning to the aforementioned comfort of a corner café, why not mix a little business with pleasure at this neighborhood wine bar complete with free Wi-Fi, comfortable couches and a fireplace. Another option—leave all work behind and join your Greencork sommelier for a wine-tasting workshop. Learn more about the wines you enjoy in this small-group format.
Greencork is the culmination of Brown’s extensive career as a restaurateur, and Sloan brings hip, creative perspective to the table with a background in graphic design as well as restaurant experience. Both ladies emphasize their goal to support other local businesses, especially their next-door neighbors in Cooper-Young. They envision guests who might relish an all-encompassing night out in one neighborhood. Why not begin with an appetizer and beverage at Greencork and then continue to one of many notable restaurants within walking distance? Another scenario might be to walk from a seated dinner to Greencork for dessert and an after-dinner glass of wine. Of course, the menu of smaller servings at Greencork welcomes those with a heartier appetite—simply order two or try more than one of their seasonal tasting plates.
If you visit soon, notice their first display of local art. Brown met artist Darin S. Little in line at one of those friendly corner cafés, and their conversation led to the current series on display at Greencork, pop art drawings created by Darin for the opening of this distinctively new wine bar.
Greencork Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4:00 to 11:00 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday.
Peek into their window at 2156 Young Avenue this weekend and you may be one of their first customers! Robin says the opening of Greencork should be just in time for one don’t-miss Mid-South event—The Cooper-Young Festival, Saturday, September 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This annual celebration is hosted by the Cooper-Young Business Association. www.facebook.com/greencorkwine
Editor’s note: This story may also be enjoyed in the Mid-South’s lovely print magazine, Click. Check out their October 2013 issue.