Clayton and Valerie Chelley were looking for a location to open a second wine bar. After only 16 months in business, their first, Vinos on Duval in Key West, already had a loyal following of locals looking for an oasis of tranquility in one of America's most famous party towns.
"We were looking for a spot with a village feel to it. Coconut Grove fit the bill," Clayton Chelley says from the bar of his newly opened Vinos in the Grove. Chelley, along with partners David Bell and Emilie Canual, are looking forward to Vinos becoming a spot for locals to have some wine and conversation.
The magic must be working, because on the first full day of business, the bar was filled with people curious about the little shop on Main Highway.
"This is not an intimidating or pompous wine bar," says Chelley, who pointed out that he welcome not only enophiles to the combination wine bar and shop, but also wine newbies. "I love to introduce people to new wines and have them discover new profiles."
The wine selection at Vinos is curated by the Chelleys. "We've had every single wine in the shop. My wife has a great palate. She'll remember everything about every wine she's ever had," Chelley says. Wines are sold by the glass and bottle (there's never a corkage fee). Vinos also offers beer and a selection of cheese and meat boards.
The cozy wine bar is decorated with warm colors and multiple seating
areas. Chalkboards list the selections of wines by the glass,
ranging from $7 to $15 (most are in the $10 range), and the restrooms are
lined with cedar and decorated with wine boxes.
selection is large and will continue to grow as the staff learns customers' palates. For starters, there are eight pages of wines by the bottle,
ranging from $20 to $250 (for a 2008 Opus One), with a rather
good selection in the $24 to $35 range.
Cheese and meat
boards are offered by country. Choose from a selection of items from
Spain ($14.50), Italy ($14.50), or France ($16), or create a custom
board from the selections available on the chalkboard.
the Grove is open seven days a week from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. and will make
a good beginning or end to an evening for people in search of an oasis