A Paso Robles businessman is opening up a downtown wine bar for fans of boutique vino.
Thomas Booth, an alumnus of Cal Poly’s wine and viticulture program, will begin serving drinks Saturday at his new establishment, Wine Boss, located at 1317 Park St. near Thomas Hill Organics.
Booth, originally from the Los Angeles area, is involved in Southern California-based Harmata Family Wines and Backyard Vineyards and Wine Consultation. He said he came to the Central Coast for college and decided to stick around and take advantage of living in a wine-rich area.
“I figured I’m in wine country — why leave?” Booth said.
Wine Boss will be located in a space Booth said he’s renting from a friend he declined to name, who bought the building in August. So far, he estimates he’s spent about $35,000 on Wine Boss, 10 to 15 percent of which has gone toward his alcohol inventory.
Booth said his bar will specialize in wines produced by the “small guy,” or vintners making 1,500 cases or less. Wine Boss will also offer cider, beer and even sake, a Japanese rice wine. Small snacks will also be on the menu, including cheeses and eventually fondue, Booth said.
Customers will be able to drink up and chow down in a vintage-themed setting inspired by the 1920s and 1940s, he said. Old black-and-white films playing on a projector will add to the ambiance.
Booth said the establishment will also remain open past normal business hours for most Paso Robles eateries. Wine Boss will serve customers from 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and from 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
“We want to be one of the few joints in town open later,” Booth said.
Although Booth said he’ll take advantage of tourist traffic, he really wants Wine Boss to become a local hot spot.
“We want to be a staple of the community,” he said.
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