More than a year after owners announced the new venture, the Bayou Wine Garden (315 N. Rendon St., 504-259-5970; www.bayouwinegarden.com), a Mid-City wine bar and restaurant, is slated to open adjacent to its sister Bayou Beer Garden (326 N. Jefferson Davis Parkway, 504-302-9357; www.bayoubeergarden.com) in mid-January.
After earning the support of neighbors and New Orleans City Council last December, the original opening date was set for fall 2015. It's taken longer than anticipated to get the wine bar's liquor license, said owning partner David Demarest.
"Our issue right now is our state liquor license comes through tomorrow and so we can order alcohol, but the city liquor license that allows us to sell alcohol, they don't give you a time date on that," Demarest said.
Demarest said the city will issue its liquor license within two to six weeks. Other than that, he said, Bayou Wine Garden is ready for customers.
The restaurant will feature 30 to 40 house-made charcuterie items, 40 cheeses, flatbreads, sandwiches and salads. It will offer 24 wines on tap and more than 100 bottles.
"It will be set up almost like an old-world deli during the day, where you can come in and buy charcuterie or coppa or prosciutto and stuff like that," Demarest said. At night, it will operate as a wine bar.
Demarest said cocktails will be created with the help of a former Maurepas Foods bartender.
"Paige Chauvin will be doing our cocktail program over there and Brian Bonner, who is a (former) manager at Root, will be doing all our wine over there as well, along with myself," Demarest said.
Although Bayou Wine Garden will have an adjoining bridge to Bayou Beer Garden, and both will have patios outside, the two restaurants and bars will be different, Demarest noted. He said the wine garden has "rustic industrial" features that set it apart from the beer garden's more sporty nature.
"The floors were pulled out of the port of New Orleans. The bar top is like a 300-year-old cypress tree," he said about the wine garden. "So it's set up to mirror itself in that way but architecturally speaking, it will capture more of a classic New Orleans older feel."