As we discussed when they opened, D&H Sustainable Jewelers (2323 Market Street) are looking to operate a wine bar on premises, in the back of the store. Even though the owners went ahead and secured a liquor license, they had not actually gone to the Planning Commission with their idea, which they're now set to do on Thursday. As a note on the store window insists, this isn't actually a bar, and wine tastings are only going to happen during stone hours, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days. Grub Street spoke with owner Shawn Higgins, curious about whether there had been some backlash from NIMBY neighbors or merchants, and he simply said, diplomatically, "There are a lot of organizations around here... and a lot of people with a lot of things to say about things." Higgins further explained the concept, which will involve rotating featured wineries subletting the space, as a cross-marketing opportunity.
"A lot of great, sustainable wineries up in Napa and Sonoma Counties just don't have the market penetration down here," he explains, "or they don't even have a tasting room at all."
So the idea is to have a different winery each month offering complimentary tastings and wines for sale by the glass, while both businesses share customers and mailing lists with each other. "These are my two passions," Higgins says, "Jewelry and wine." He expects the dual concept will go over well.
Also, it can't hurt to get people a little drunk when there's pretty things to buy all around them.
The names of the first wineries featured won't be announced until Planning gives their stamp of approval, after Thursday. But look for the tastings to commence sometime in the next few weeks.
Earlier: Jewelry Store/Wine Bar Coming to the Castro [Grub Street]