A popular wine bar with locations in Pismo Beach and Paso Robles is expanding into San Luis Obispo with a larger space for a retail shop and wine lounge.
WineSneak is under construction across from the airport on Broad Street with a targeted opening date sometime in January, said proprietors Ash Mehta and Lissa Hallberg, who also own Taste in the Alley in Paso and Tastes of the Valleys in Pismo, which is hailed by Wine Enthusiast magazine as one of the top 20 wine bars in the country.
The two spots have earned a following for the wide variety of wines available by the glass — about a thousand wines in the 800-square-foot Pismo location and 400 or so in the even smaller Paso shop.
The 2,800-square-foot spot in SLO will allow the pair to expand their offerings even further, Mehta said, allowing them to “sneak in great wine at great prices.”
“We wanted something where we could offer higher-volume wines,” said Mehta, who declined to disclose their investment in the leased space. The bigger space will also enable better organization, he said.
“Pismo looks like a used book store,” Mehta said, with wine stacked everywhere. The arrangement at WineSneak, with lots of shelving and a reserve room for higher-end wines, will be “more educational, so people can walk through and learn about the wine,” he said.
With its location across from the airport, WineSneak aims to target people flying out, with travel boxes and accessories for sale and even an airport theme to the decor.
While it will be more retail-focused than the other locations, there will be a wine bar and table seating area, with many, if not all, of the wines available by the glass. Mehta and Hallberg are hoping to to attract evening commuters, noting the line of the cars that stretches along Broad Street at the end of every workday.
The pair opened their first wine bar in Solvang, followed by the Pismo spot on Price Street in 2010. They sold the Solvang location in 2012 and in 2015 opened Taste in the Alley in the alley behind Artisan restaurant.
Both shops sell flights, bottles, customized gift packs and wine by the glass. They also ship to most states and offer a sampler wine club.
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