Don't Want To Watch The Super Bowl?
For many, the term pub conjures visions of dimly lit Irish-themed bars overflowing with Guinness, Jameson and the raucous white noise of rowdy patrons. This, however, is a stereotype inspired by watered down Americanized incarnations of this noble institution. Pubs, in their truest sense, serve as more than just a local watering hole. They are epicenters for communities; a gathering place for citizens to interact with one another. It’s a concept lost on most of us across the pond, but not Sandy Hanshaw, the proprietor of The Wine Pub, one of the newest businesses to spring up in the Village area of Point Loma.
“Having lived in Point Loma for the past eight years, I thought that the Village of Point Loma was ripe for a nice neighborhood bar that offers reasonably priced interesting food and wine,” says Hanshaw, who utilized lessons learned in the hospitality industry to create an atmosphere that is just that—hospitable.
The Wine Pub will be extremely hospitable to ladies--or anybody--who doesn't want to watch the SuperBowl on Sunday. A Football-Free Game Plan will include 50 percent off glasses of wine and raffles for food, wine and pampering packages.
A quaint and inviting spot nestled in a small strip mall on Rosecrans and Shelter Island Drive, this venue could just as easily have been named The Wine “Hub.” In the brief two months since it opened its doors, it has become a frequented favorite among Point Loma residents that is regularly packed with customers who are as enamored with the venue’s selection of New World boutique vino and the friendly and easygoing yet attentive and knowledgeable brand of service.
During a recent visit, conversations could be overheard between friends and theretofore strangers at the bar, intermingling patrons along the tables lining the floor-to-ceiling windowed south wall and employees sharing a quick convo with regulars on their way in or out.
“I think we have created a ‘Cheers’ bar of sorts,” says Hanshaw. “We pride ourselves on knowing our clientele, knowing what they may like to drink and making sure that they are comfortable while they are with us. If they’re a new customer, we aim to make them feel like they’ve come to a special intimate place where many people find old friends or create new ones by sitting at the bar [or around the fire pit on our outside patio] and striking up conversations.”
The Wine Pub specializes in domestic wines and varietals from up-and-coming regions across the globe. Their rotating by-the-glass wine list consists of between two- and three-dozen reds, whites, sparklers and dessert wines, all of which are from small producers, offering patrons the chance to try something a little less common at reasonable price points ($6 to $15 per notably generous pour). Completing the pub environment, craft beer is also available (three draft and three bottle varieties, both rotating, at $5 each) with a focus on local producers.
Unlike far too many wine bars, where food is an afterthought, The Wine Pub’s rustic menu is comprised of thoughtfully restrained dishes based around some of wine’s best friends—artisanal cheeses, cured meats, preserved fruits and vegetables. It is ably executed by chef Liz Baird, who comes to The Wine Pub after a stint at the recently defunct Jack’s La Jolla, and uses her whimsy and skill to create soups and salads of the day ($4 to $12) and starters including a cheese plate ($11 to $15) and a trio of bruschettas ($10) that burst with vibrant flavors (fresh tomatoes, salty prosciutto, crisp apples, sumptuous brie cheese) and are served on delicious ciabatta from Point Loma’s own Con Pane Rustic Breads that’s sliced thin enough so as not to overshadow its toppings.
Larger offerings include a trio of Kobe beef sliders with horseradish mayo ($12), Panini sandwiches ($10 to $11)—grilled Portobello with goat cheese and pesto tapenade, grilled chicken with fresh mozzarella and roasted pepper aioli, a three-cheese (brie, bleu, cheddar) melt with tomato and artichoke spread—as well as a bistro-style warm mushroom-onion tart ($10) with tart goat cheese spiked with notes of peppery earthiness from an accompanying herb salad and leek puree. Desserts are also available and are worth saving room for. From the banana-caramel bread pudding with salted caramel sauce and ice cream ($8) to the "Black Beast” ($8), a flourless chocolate cake with raspberries and ganache icing spiked with Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur, there isn’t a clunker in the bunch.
Vine-ripened value-addeds include wines for sale by the bottle (which can be enjoyed on-site for a $5 corkage fee), complimentary wine delivery to residents in the 92106 ZIP code (via bike courtesy of Hanshaw’s husband, Andy) and a wine club offering members two special selections per month. More details are available via The Wine Pub’s website.
Being a Point Loman herself, Hanshaw has gone to great lengths to extend an endearing welcome to her neighbors and that warmth has been returned in kind by her customers. Says Hanshaw, “We have many regulars that come in more than three times a week. We get comments that the Black Beast flourless cake is the best they’ve ever had or that Corey, our bartender, is their favorite bartender anywhere. It has been fantastic to have the support of the neighborhood.”
- City: San Diego
- Phone: (619) 758-9325
- Address: 2907 Shelter Island Drive, # 108