Charleston entrepreneur Ken Schneider plans to turn former sugar studio Sweet 185 into self-service wine bar Uncork. Joined by operating partner Mark Rosenberg (formerly of early-aughts, Upper King piano bar Pluto Rocks), the team wants to unlock the doors at the pay-by-the-ounce bar by April 2, 2018.
Schneider says he thought of bringing the concept to Charleston after visiting the Wine Institute of New Orleans — also a self-service wine bar. He originally eyed the Market Street area for the Uncork address, but after some back-and-forth with hotels in the area, landed on at 476 King St.
How does a self-serve wine bar work? Patrons hand the host or hostess a credit card upon arrival in exchange for an Uncork card. This card keeps track of ounces poured. Attendees can choose from one-ounce, two-ounce, or four-ounce pours. There will be 40 wines on tap to choose, from well-known varietals to more obscure selections from Lebanon, South Africa, Greece, and more. The pour cost will vary, depending on the price of the bottle. At the end of the visit, patrons hand back the card and settle up with the credit card on file or another payment method. Uncork will also have a retail license for those wanting to take a bottle home.
Schneider describes the upcoming space as “very relaxed” with a few cocktail tables, a community table, and couches for gathering groups. There will also be a 10-seat bar serving four local beers.
In addition to beverages, Uncork will offer a small menu of light snacks, like baguettes with good olive oil, tapenades, hummus, and more.
Keep up with all the details on Uncork here.