Taste the Olive & Vine retail shop and wine bar is now open on the lower level of the historic Wallace Building at 25 N. Third St.
Owners Randy and Deedee Hall and Dave Andersen have been remodeling the building since early 2018. Randy Hall, who did much of the interior design and construction himself, including a custom wine wall and the installation of a bar that was original to the first Taste The Olive at The Forum, said the project has been a labor of love.
The Halls took over operational ownership of Taste the Olive at its previous location in Landfall Shopping Center in the fall of 2017, and brought Anderson on as executive chef and managing partner.
The partners were eventually approached by Wallace Building owner Steve Wells and MoMentum Companies president Terry Espy about the possibility of taking over the space and bringing their business downtown.
Randy Hall told the Greater Wilmington Business Journal in an interview last fall
that it took longer than expected for architectural plans to be approved, and given the age of the building, that some structural issues needed to be addressed.
“I fell in love with this building from the start and it’s very satisfying to see it all come together,” Randy Hall said. “Our vision has turned out exactly as planned, with a few small touches still in the works.”
While owners say they had originally hoped to be open by last year’s N.C. Azalea Festival, they are thrilled to have the retail shop, which features the specialty olive oils and vinegars Taste the Olive is known for, and the wine bar up and running in time for this year’s festival.
For now, chef Anderson is focusing on creating cheese and charcuterie boards, as well as ice cream and dessert flights for his customers. He will eventually expand the menu to include a variety of small plates, all of which will incorporate the shop’s oils and vinegars.
The wine bar will offer roughly sixty wines by the glass and up to 300 by the bottle. Hall said he plans to focus on offering a variety of regional and varietal wine flights, as well as specific wine and food pairings.
“We’re very excited to share the experience of wine and food pairings with our customers, and also to grow and learn from them,” Hall said.
In celebration of Azalea Festival weekend, Taste the Olive & Vine will be offering a free ice cream flight with the purchase of any cheese board.
Taste the Olive & Vine is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Currently closed Sunday for private events, expanded Sunday hours expected by early summer.
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