Wine bar opens in downtown Washington

Published 5:50 pm Thursday, December 9, 2021

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Mary Mehlich’s dream of owning a wine bar came to life Thursday as local leaders and community members attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wine & Words Wine Bar.

The wine bar is an expansion of Wine & Words & Gourmet, which is located at 220 W. Main St. The bar is adjacent to the store, connected by a doorway. Wine & Words has been in downtown Washington since 2011; Mary and Mark Mehlich took ownership of it in January 2018.

The Victorian-style wine bar features a dimly lit, homely atmosphere where patrons can socialize and enjoy wine, cheese, beer and other Wine & Words offerings.

“They can buy it by the bottle and share it with friends, if they don’t drink it all they can take it home,” Mehlich said. “They can shop while they’re having a glass of wine or beer. So it’s just a comfortable experience.”

Mehlich said she’s wanted to open a wine bar for a while, but it took some time to settle on a style.

“Years ago I worked in aviation, I travelled internationally,” Mehlich said. “I’ve got a favorite place in Cambridge, England, that I use to go to and get a book and have a glass of wine. It was very similar to this Victorian style. It was just so comfortable and comforting. It felt like my living room. So I wanted to do something that would be that kind of comfort to the customers.”

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Mayor Donald Sadler said the new expansion is “beautiful, and definitely adds a great addition to our beautiful downtown.”

“Downtown Washington is a special place,” Washington – Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce Board President William Taylor said. “You guys are special people for making this investment — quite frankly taking on a challenge during some tough times and have just made a huge success.”

From constructing the bar to waiting on the necessary permits to come through, the Mehlichs have been waiting a while for the chance to open the wine bar’s doors. Mary said it’s a “great relief” to open the bar for business.

“I feel privileged to own a business in Washington,” she said. “What a great community.”