When she opened Brut in October, owner Lisa Parks hoped for several things.
She hoped people would like the wine bar; she hoped they would have fun trying new wines. She hoped it could be a place for visitors and locals alike.
“It’s exceeded my expectations,” she said.
Business has been steady. She sees a variety of ages and wine backgrounds at the bar — and, important to her, many locals who are repeat customers.
While Astoria has no shortage of bars to cater to a variety of moods, experiences and budgets, Parks feels she created something new with Brut. While she does stock regional wines, much of her shelf space is dedicated to exports, wine people wouldn’t often encounter at local restaurants.
At Brut, customers can drink wine by the glass, buy a bottle for the table, or sample a variety with a three-glass flight.
The flights are by far the most popular option Parks offers.
“I think it’s a way for people to have fun with it and not commit to a 6 ounce glass of wine,” Parks said. “If one is not your favorite, OK, you’ve tried it.”
Though Parks plans to expand seating options at Brut, she wants to maintain the wine bar’s intimacy. She is also looking at ways to offer a wine-of-the-month club.
Most of all Parks wants Brut to continue to be a way for her customers to explore wine or enjoy staples. There is no need to be pretentious about wine, she says.
“It’s just juice and it’s stupid to be snobby about it,” she said.
It’s meant to be enjoyed.