Riverside may have its first “bar” as early as this summer after the village board Monday night voted unanimously to amend its liquor license ordinance to include a “wine bar” classification. The new W-1 liquor license will allow sale of wine by the glass and by the bottle with and without food on the premises.
The vote came on the heels of a request by a pair of Riverside residents who are proposing to open a wine bar in Riverside’s downtown. Carl Choate and Jennifer Beranich said they are in negotiations for a downtown site for the wine bar, and wanted the board to give them some assurance that their concept was even possible.
The wine bar will be called Parallel 42 and is envisioned as a laid-back place for those who want to sip wine and nibble on artisanal cheeses that have been paired by the owners. The name refers to the 42nd parallel, which runs through the Chicago area.
“We want to tie in wines and cheeses from throughout the world,” Choate said.
The business plan for Parallel 42 describes the wine bar as a “comfortable, inviting cafe designed to give our patrons a respite from the outside world, in their own neighborhood. It will be a place to relax, unwind and enjoy fantastic wine and light fare from around the world, without the rigid structure of a restaurant.”
A sample menu gives a glimpse into the kind of offerings at Parallel 42, including champagne, white and red wines by the glass and bottle, wine flights combining wines of different wine makers, dessert wines and an array of cheeses, cheese and wine combinations, small appetizer plates and a small selection of desserts.
Choate, who recently left his job as a manager at Antico Posto in Oak Brook to pursue the Riverside wine bar idea, will serve as the bar’s full-time manager. Beranich, a marketing communications manager with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will work part time developing the menu and with other aspects of the operation. In addition to wine and cheese pairings, Beranich said the wine bar would eventually offer such extras as cheese and wine seminars.
The business plan calls for the wine bar to be open in the evenings only, from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to midnight on Friday and Saturday and from 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
The business plan also points out the unique nature of the venture, stating that “there is no concept like this in Riverside or the surrounding suburbs.”
Choate said that he will move ahead with negotiations on the space, which he declined to identify at this time. He estimated that the bar might be open “in three or four months.”