Cork Wine Bar & Market Reopens Tonight
Co-owners Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts will reopen their new Cork Wine Bar & Market at 5 p.m. today, Nov. 9, at 1805 14th St. NW. The new concept joins Cork Wine Bar and Cork Market under one roof in a completely refurbished space.
The wine bar will occupy an expanded second-floor space that includes a private dining room for events and educational programming along with a patio that will open in the spring. Downstairs, the market adds a tasting bar and café with casual bistro seating and a house rosé made on-site.
Gross told DC on Heels she and Pitts had been talking about expanding their educational offerings and moving the wine bar into the building they own that housed the market for some time. It was time to renew the wine bar’s lease, and seemed the perfect time to make the move.
“We loved the old space, but the rent got to high,” Gross said. “Relocating it into a building we own and where we have established the market allows us to expand on our original concept to do all things wine, giving us the flexibility to be more innovative and fun, and offer a breadth of experiences to our guests.”
“We are excited about the new things we are going to be able to offer our guests along with an even greater focus on our wine program,” said Pitts. “We are going to be able to expand our wine list and tasting opportunities, offer lunch service for the first time, open a larger outdoor dining space and delve even more into our love of wine by making our own on-site.”
The refurbished space features exposed brick and whitewashed wood walls, a tin ceiling on the first floor, skylights, light wood floors, dark wood tables and chairs and gray banquettes. The first-floor café has striped upholstered benches at long tables, while the private dining room has a tiled feature wall and metal chairs. Eric Gronning of Gronning Architects designed the remodeled space, with handmade tile from restaurant neighbor Ann Sacks, wood floors from Floors on 14th, glassware from HomeRule and a patio garden designed with Amanda McClements of Salt & Sundry and Little Leaf.
The new upstairs wine bar can seat 60 in the dining room, another 17 at the bar, 30 in the private dining space, which will host private events as well as wine classes and seminars, and another 30 on the seasonal patio.
The wine bar’s seasonally changing menu of shared plates created by executive chef Jason Schreuder is intact, including the avocado bruschetta. The wine offerings, though expanding, will also remain largely untouched in concept, both upstairs and down. Selections focus heavily on old world wines. The new temperature controlled wine room holds about 1,500 bottles. Three hundred wines will be offered by the bottle and 40 by the glass with an additional 15 available by the glass at the downstairs tasting bar.
The downstairs market has undergone the more dramatic renovation, with expanded space. It has seating for 25 in the café with another 20 at the tasting bar.
The market will continue to have a small, thoughtful selection of New World offerings. New additions to the market include the Flight Club, a membership program with curated monthly selections and quarterly pick-up parties, as well as a weekly grilled cheese night and a menu with kid-friendly classics like mac and cheese and house-made pesto pasta. The market will still offer its curated selection of retail wines as well as cheese and charcuterie to take away.
Market chef Ian Morrison will now offer a menu of snacks to share, cheese, charcuterie, salads, sandwiches and fried chicken, a Cork Market favorite dating back to its 2009 opening. The selection of prepared foods to-go is intact, but is now accompanied by an expanded selection of cheese and charcuterie, and a wine selection with an even sharper focus on classic European growing regions.
Beginning next year, Cork will make its own house rosé on-site from Virginia-grown grapes. It will produce one vintage of limited quantity each year, which will only be available on draft in the market and restaurant.
The market will also offer seasonal programs, such as seasonal wine classes and tastings, and a gingerbread decorating party in December complete with a special by-the-glass wine selection and an outdoor, European-style holiday market hosted on the patio. The holiday season will also see the launch of the market’s Flight Club, a curated monthly subscription program featuring themed monthly flights. The first “pick-up party” will be held December 10.
Cork’s market is open from 11 a.m.-midnight Tuesday through Sunday. The wine bar is open for dinner from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday for brunch.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.