Wine Maestro opening taproom
Apr 05, 2013 (Statesville Record & Landmark - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Wine Maestro will open its newly renovated taproom, complete with a custom-made wooden bar, with a grand opening celebration Friday from 5-9 p.m. in downtown Statesville.
"Our goal from the beginning was to be able to have a room like this. We didn't think it would happen so quickly, but fortunately the community has been kind to us and we've been able to provide this for them," said Liz Petree, who owns the shop with her husband, Jason.
Attractions will include wine and beer tastings, which cost $5 each, lots of free giveaways, live music by Steven Wenger starting at 6 p.m. and food from the Root Down food truck across the street, in the Bank of America parking lot, from 7-9:30.
Six North Carolina beers will be available on tap, including Mystery Brewing's Six Impossible Things oatmeal stout, Green Man Porter, Foothills Brewing's India Style Brown Ale, Highland Brewing's Devil's Britches IPA, The Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout and Old Hickory's Ruby Lager.
The heart and soul of the new taproom is the bar, which was custom designed and crafted out of knotty alder and maple by Petree's brother, David Farthing, who owns Carolina Custom Cabinets in Lenoir.
"I never dreamed he would make it as nice as he did. He's definitely getting a good Christmas present this year," Petree said.
Other improvements included installing a cork floor, beadboard ceiling and a chalkboard wall for listing what's on tap. Petree said the renovations were the result of an outpouring of support from community members, including Arnold Watt, Costi Kutteh, Dennis Setzer, Matt Bragg, Nathan Morgan, Sal Cornacchione, Jim Sherrill and the store's staff.
The additional taps the bar provides put the Wine Maestro at the top of the list for Michael Thomas, president of Iredell Brewers United.
"This is the best selection of craft beer in Statesville by far. Actually, it's the best beer store and bottle shop in Iredell County," Thomas said.
Despite the fancy new bar in the back of the store, Petree remains adamant that people not think of the Wine Maestro as a bar.
"We're not even putting barstools at the bar -- it is a tasting room," she said.
"We are still number one a retail store, but we're providing a tasting-room element. I don't want the bar hours, and people don't want to pay bar prices."
As the weather begins to warm, Petree is already thinking about expanding the front side of her business.
"We're looking forward to warm weather and outdoor seating," she said. "And I can't wait until the new streetscape is done because I think it's going to bring me more business."
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