The Barrel, a new wine and whiskey bar, is expected to open in about a month in the old Grapes to Wine space in Bartonville Town Center.
Owner Brandon Bohannan said his first venture in the restaurant industry will be a New American concept focusing on high-quality food, bourbon and wine. The scratch kitchen will make everything in-house, from sauces to stocks to cutting steaks. The wine selection will start out focused on smaller, high-end Napa and Sonoma wineries such as Mt. Veeder, Howell Mountain and Spring Mountain. Other small production wineries will be worked into the menu alongside more well-known wineries, and new wines will depend on feedback from customers. There will be a broad selection of whiskeys, and The Barrel will run specials on higher-end whiskeys “so that people that would normally stick with a low/mid price-point drink will get to try higher quality spirits,” Bohannan said.
“Most importantly, our GM and bar managers are true mixologists,” he said. “The Barrel will have rolling drink menus where we feature new specialty cocktails every month. The Chef and the FM will work closely to make sure that all of our drinks are intentionally made to pair with the menu items.”
Bohannan announced on social media on Wednesday that The Barrel is about one month away from opening.
Bohannan said he grew up in Highland Shores and after college, he married and chose to raise a family in Lantana. He’s an entrepreneur and investor who has built start-ups and sold them and he’s always wanted to work in hospitality, and he wanted to do it 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, food and drinks with all of our friends- both old and new.”
Bohannan said the success of the Marty B’s restaurant inspired him to stay local.
“I knew the town would support restaurants in the area, and Marty Bryan proved it,” he said. “I can only hope to fractionally follow in his steps with how great he, and Marty B’s, have been to the area.”
Bohannan said it will be important for The Barrel to provide value to customers and an “exceptional place for our employees.” He’s also keeping in mind the “longer-term vision for growth opportunities” for The Barrel.
“With The Barrel, our plan is to get started with The Bartonville location and learn from what our guests want and how they want to be served,” he said. “Those early employees that assist with making it wonderful, will have the opportunities to grow with the company as we work towards making this concept a multi-location operation. Our goal is to bring the ‘coolness’ of a tech startup to the restaurant space.”