Ten-year-old Cork Wine Bar is about to alter its business model — and the tapestry of 14th Street NW — by moving, expanding, and breaking into an untapped market this fall.
Co-owners Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts have announced plans to vacate the standalone location at 1720 14th Street NW and move up the block, folding the neighborhood restaurant into the market and tasting room they also operate. A planned renovation there includes adding a new patio, private dining room, and branching out into on-site wine making. They own the building at 1805 14th Street NW that houses Cork Market and Tasting Room.
“Yes, it’s ultimately a business decision, but it’s one that we believe will lead to a greater combined vision — with the best of what Cork offers under one roof,” says Gross.
Here’s what to expect once the dust settles:
- The new Cork Wine Bar and Market will have 60 seats. And a 30-seat casual eatery and 15-seat tasting bar will be added to the ground floor of the market via the new build out.
- The food 411. Market chef Ian Morrison will prep a lineup of cheese, charcuterie, salads, sandwiches, and fried chicken. New to the menu is a weekly grilled cheese night and a kid-friendly menu. Executive chef Jason Schreuder will stay on board, pushing his seasonal fare throughout the space.
- More retail items. The market will up its assortment of to-go cheese and charcuterie options and old world European wines. “Our list focuses on traditionally made estate wines that are organic and biodynamic,” says Gross.
- Cork’s wine making debut. For the first time, wine will be made on-site from Virginia-grown grapes. Starting in 2018, one vintage of rosé will be made at Cork every year; it will be sold on draft in the market and restaurant. Stay tuned for more intel on how the new venture is coming together. The giant District Winery in Navy Yard just became the first winemaking operation in D.C., with rose also as its first wine.
- The redesign team includes lots of local love. Eric Gronning of nearby Gronning Architects will helm the project, while handmade tile will come from neighbor Ann Sacks and a patio garden will be designed with Amanda McClements of Salt and Sundry and Little Leaf.
The owners have already made big headlines this year: This past March, Cork sued President Donald Trump and the Trump International Hotel, claiming unfair competition. According to the original filing, customers ranging from foreign dignitaries to expense account holders are “being courted” to do business at Trump’s hotel “because they see it as advantageous to them to curry favor with the president.”