"Wet My Mind"

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A new wine bar called Clever opened last week in Mid-City. It's attached to the wine shop Cork & Bottle, and run by the same proprietor, Jon Smith.

The wine bar's name references a quote attributed to the ancient Greek dramatist Aristophanes:

Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine so I may wet my mind and say something clever."

No matter how the quality of conversation shapes up here, the space itself is very smart. The clean, modern design plays off its industrial setting in the American Can Building, with cool cement walls and floor. A passageway connects the bar directly with the wine shop.

The bar list includes about 30 wines by the glass, plus some liquors and bottled beer. This isn't the place to go for a Cosmo or a mojito, but it is a great venue to geek out on new-to-you wines and an alternative to smoky barrooms (smoking inside is not allowed). The list is diverse in both variety and price, with plenty of options at $5 to $7 a glass.

The place should be hopping on Thursdays during the Mid-City Green Market, the farmers market that Smith created last spring and runs in the American Can building parking lot.

Clever is opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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