BERLIN — The state’s first exclusively Maryland wine bar opened earlier this month in Berlin and is going strong, according to owner Deborah Everett.
Everett attributed much of the success the Maryland Wine Bar at Berlin is having to the town’s relaxed, old-fashioned atmosphere as well as enthusiasm from state wineries.
“People love the concept. They think we’re unique,” said Everett.
As implied by its name, the Maryland Wine Bar at Berlin only sells wine from state wineries. That local loyalty becomes a win-win for everyone, said Everett.
“So many people don’t know anything about Maryland wines,” she said.
The wine bar’s Maryland exclusivity means that many wine fans that are used to more widely known vintages from California or Europe get a chance to dip into a new field.
While the wine bar is promoting local wineries, established fans of those wineries are being drawn to Berlin, according to Everett, who says that’s a win-win for all involved and is consistent with the “buy local” trend being observed in communities across the country.
“We really do have some great wines here,” she said.
That attraction can be a boon for Berlin since the crowd the wine bar brings in is then exposed to town events as well as other shops and restaurants. Events like the town’s 2nd Friday Art Strolls are especially popular with the wine crowd, according to Everett.
“The Art Stroll was insane … [it] was a big night,” she said of the most recent June event.
As for any business spilling over to competitors in town, Everett explained that was actually encouraged with every business in Berlin working to promote the area as a whole.
“Everybody has been so supportive,” she said. “It’s really a neighborhood feeling.”
While Berlin is the first stop for the wine bar, Everett has stated from the beginning that she hopes to see the business spread to other areas. She chose Berlin as the flagship location, however, because of the town culture, the foot traffic, and the cross-promotion of business that has almost become a Berlin trademark. The business is located conveniently on Main Street at the heart of the historic district.
While it may be some time before any other towns have their own Maryland Wine Bar, Everett does plan on expanding the relationship with state wineries that makes her business so unique in the near future.
Currently, the wine bar is carrying wine from 24 of the 55 wineries in the state. With an ever rotating selection, as well as $1 wine tastings, Everett stressed that even a layman can stop in and quickly become familiar with Maryland wines.
Michael Everett, co-owner and Deborah’s husband, highlighted the fact that most people on the Eastern Shore are not exposed to wines from across the bridge because some of those wineries are too small to have a presence on the market.
“Those people, their wines don’t get down here,” he said
According to the Everetts, their goal is to feature vintages from even the smallest wineries at the Maryland Wine Bar at Berlin with bottles for sale on a daily basis, from noon-8 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and noon-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.