New Wine Bar Will Help Athens Get Uncorked

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A wine bar named Athens Uncorked is being developed in the city, and co-owner Kathryn Blake said the goal is to be open this fall, hopefully by late September.

"We will be featuring Ohio wines, domestics and imports," Blake said.

The new business will be located at the Athens Station commercial center, and will be taking over the majority of the space of the former Oak Room restaurant.

Not wanting to open a traditional bar, Blake said Athens Uncorked will offer a "different atmosphere" aimed at a slightly older clientele.

"We want a place where people can come and carry on a nice conversation," Blake said. If music is offered, it will be acoustic.

In addition to selling wine by flights, glass or bottle, Athens Uncorked will offer a selection of Ohio craft beers, and appetizers will be available.

"We will also offer desserts," Blake said.

There will be a morning coffee service, with pastries.

Blake, who will serve as general manager, is a graduate of Hocking College's culinary and baking program. Including herself, there will be five or six employees, she said.

Blake said price quotes are being sought from contractors for renovation of the space.

The business has applied to the state for D-1 and D-2 liquor permits, which will allow the sale of beer, wine and low-proof mixed beverages for on-premise consumption or carryout. The applications are for TREX permits.

If a community has reached its quota of liquor permits — which Athens has — the Ohio Division of Liquor Control can transfer a TREX license from outside the area if a municipal official certifies that the permit is needed for economic development.

Mayor Paul Wiehl, who signed off on the Athens Uncorked applications, said he sees the new business as a way of helping to fill vacancies at the Athens Station commercial area. He said there are vacancies in addition to the former Oak Room space.

Matt Mullins, spokesman for the liquor control division, said the licenses have not yet been issued.