Over the past few years, the EDGE District has become a hub for nightlife in Tampa Bay. The district boasts a myriad of hangouts for beer lovers and cocktail aficionados. But have you noticed what’s surprisingly missing? A wine bar! However that won’t be the case for much longer.
The neighborhood’s first dedicated wine bar, named CellarMasters, is planning to open inside of a 2,190 square foot free-standing building located at 1005 1st Avenue North, a few doors down from The Bends, a popular dive bar.
CellarMasters is the creation of local residents Ryan Rugg, a Certified Wine Specialist, and Kory Lynn, the resident Certified Sommelier. According to Rugg, “We want to provide a comfortable and eclectic experience that no other businesses are currently offering in the EDGE District.”
Equal parts wine bar and retail store, CellarMasters will offer a large and ever-changing selection of both natural wines and celebrated producers for onsite consumption or to take home.
Additionally, if wine isn’t your drink of choice, craft beer and other non-alcoholic beverages will be available, including coffee/espresso.
Feeling snacky? A limited and reasonably-priced food menu will also be available, allowing patrons to pair their wine selections with carefully sourced cheeses, charcuterie, and ingredient-driven small plates.
As for pricing, a glass of wine will hardly ever set you back more than $8-12, but there will always be plenty of rare and limited selections open and available if you’re looking for a truly unique experience. And bringing a bottle home to enjoy won’t break the bank either. Rugg notes, “Our selections will focus on wines under $25 that over-deliver in flavor and quality, all while focusing on sustainability in the vineyards.”
A fine wine room will be available to guests in search of more curated and cult-worthy wines, as well, all at competitive retail prices (a small service fee is applied for onsite consumption).
We have high expectations for CellarMasters due in part to Rugg and Lynn’s vast experience and knowledge. Rugg moved to St Pete with his wife from San Francisco, bringing with him years of expertise in the wine industry as a wholesaler, fine wine retailer, and former Cellar Master in winemaking/production in Sonoma, Napa, and Australia.
Rugg was drawn to St. Pete for a number of reasons. "What attracted us most about St. Pete was the uniqueness of the city, the affordability, the world class coastline, and the amazing art scene," says Rugg. "We are very proud of our city and the direction it is headed."
As for Lynn, his experience ranges from opening renegade wine bars with a renowned Master Sommelier to representing an elite wholesale portfolio. Lynn will bring a tremendous wealth of knowledge and personal flair to CellarMasters.
Whether you are looking to imbibe by the glass or bottle, rest assured that guests will always have a diverse array of limited, small-production wines to choose from at CellarMasters. Rugg and Lynn are hoping to open CellarMasters to the public by late fall.