Crestview gas station convenience store Sunrise Mini Mart on 1809 West Anderson Lane is really one of the city’s best wine shops courtesy of manager Sam Rozani. Now he’s going to take that expertise and turn the next-door now-vacated space at the same address in the building formerly belonging to East Side Pies into his very own natural wine bar. The unnamed as-of-now bar is aiming to open sometime in February or March of 2020.
Rozani compares the forthcoming bar to what he already does at Sunrise, where he has built a stellar wine list for the past 12 years. It’s become a favorite shopping and exploration destination for those in the wine and beverage industry in Austin. The new bar is “just the same concept like what I do over here,” he said at the store, where he’ll create a menu suggesting the best natural wines.
The casual and easy bar will serve all sorts of natural wines with different styles, regions, and grapes. There will be wines by-the-glass, so people can try more. It’s meant to be approachable and not intimidating, serving those interested in wine, wine enthusiasts, and neighborhood people just looking to drink.
The bar will serve other beverages as well. Beer is in the works, with potentially 14 to 16 taps, as well as coffee.
As for food, Rozani is thinking about serving a small menu of four different Neapolitan pies, but nothing is set in stone yet. “Good quality comfort food,” that makes sense with wine. There might be some sort of bowls as well as cheese/meat plates and snacks like olives.
The intimate space, which can fit about 20 to 25 people, will be set up like a cafe: a bar, standing room, space to work on a laptop. There will be a patio behind the building, as well as something in the space between it and Sunrise.
The bar will feature all-day hours, extending into the later evening: “If I want to think: where can I drink a good wine after eight or nine?’ You will not find that many places,” Rozani said.
Rozani always wanted to open his own bar and when the opportunity arose when East Side Pies decided to leave its West Anderson Lane space, he jumped on it.