The Barrel, a new wine and whiskey bar, is set to open in about a month in the former Grapes to Wine space in Downtown Bartonville.
Owner Brandon Bohannan said his first venture into the restaurant industry will be a new American concept focused on high-quality food, bourbon and wine. The scratch kitchen will do everything in-house, from sauces to broths to cutting steaks. The wine selection will begin by focusing on smaller, upscale Napa and Sonoma wineries, such as Mt. Veeder, Howell Mountain, and Spring Mountain. Other small production wineries will be added to the menu alongside more well-known wineries, and new wines will depend on customer feedback. There will be a wide selection of whiskeys, and The Barrel will be offering special deals on premium whiskeys “so people who would normally stick to a low/mid priced drink can try higher quality spirits”, Bohannan said.
“Most importantly, our general managers and bar managers are true mixologists,” he said. “The Barrel will offer rolling drink menus where we will offer new specialty cocktails each month. The Chef and FM will work closely together to ensure that all of our beverages are intentionally prepared to accompany the menu items.
Bohannan announced on social media on Wednesday that The Barrel is about a month away from opening.
Bohannan said he grew up in Highland Shores and after college married and chose to start a family in Lantana. He’s an entrepreneur and an investor who’s built start-ups and sold them and he’s always wanted to work in hospitality, and he wanted to do that in Bartonville.
“My wife and I love hosting our friends and consider ourselves lucky to have such a great group of them in the area,” Bohannan said. “With The Barrel, we hope to expand our ability to share our table, our food and our drinks with all of our friends, old and new.”
Bohannan said the success of Marty B’s restaurant inspired him to stay local.
“I knew the city would support restaurants in the area, and Marty Bryan proved that,” he said. “I can only hope to follow in his footsteps split-wise with how great he and Marty B have been in the area.”
Bohannan said it will be important for The Barrel to provide value for customers and an “exceptional place for our employees.” He also keeps in mind the “longer-term view of growth opportunities” for The Barrel.
“With The Barrel, our plan is to start with The Bartonville location and learn from what our customers want and how they want to be served,” he said. “The early employees who help make it wonderful will have the opportunity to grow with the company as we work to make this concept a multi-site operation. Our goal is to bring the ‘freshness’ of a tech startup to the dining area.