Wine bars are becoming a trend. A new one called Checkered Past Winery will open in the South Side building at 1409 S. Lamar St., in the former Absinthe Lounge space. Slated to open this fall, it will feature local wines as well as wines from other parts of the world. That is correct: wines from other foreign countries.
Co-founder and owner Sandro DiSanto is a first-generation American and 100-percent Sicilian. That is not a claim you see too often. But before you dare to contest it, know that both of his grandfathers made wine in Sicily, and it was from them that DiSanto inherited his love for the craft of winemaking.
For Checkered Past, he has partnered with his brother-in-law, designer Scott Relyea. They're joined by Carolynne Chancellor, a co-owner and manager, who also owns Noonday Vineyard in Tyler, Texas.
We're starting to see the wine bars pile up. Fort Worth's Winslow's Wine Cafe uncorked a Dallas offshoot on Cedar Springs in June. Wine retailer Wine Poste relocated to North Oak Cliff where it has launched a wine bar called Bar Anatomie. And Bouchon 1314, a wine bistro transplanted from Deep Ellum to Davis Street, opened in September.
Checkered Past actually calls itself a "wine pub," which they say is different from a wine bar in that it is more casual. It has couches — but no TVs. Not that casual.
According to a release, it's a place where wine lovers or those who want to learn more about wine may indulge in a glass or bottle of wine alongside family and friends. "No wine experience necessary," they say.
Guests may even satisfy their stout cravings. We presume that means they are also serving beer. Here's a good line from the release: "You might even be able to learn a few things about the industry, wine heritage, and may even leave with a new slang or two in this Mods versus Rockers pub."
There will be snacks. The place has no kitchen, and the menu is mostly all about the wine, but there will be small plates. A final menu will be released next week.