About a decade ago, Joe Berry transformed a dilapidated Eastman Texaco station, dating to 1927, on the Rivercrest end of Camp Bowie. The inviting space became Winslow’s Wine Cafe in 2008, and it has hosted the neighborhood since, inviting customers to socialize, dine and enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine with friends.
“When we first opened 10 years ago, we had a beer and wine license,” Berry says. “Then, people wanted us to offer cocktails as well.” The snug bar area simply ran out of space to maintain more than the 60-bottle collection currently offered at Winslow’s.
When the building across the street recently became available, Berry saw it as an excellent opportunity to expand. Construction is currently underway and custom-made wine racks are being installed on a cash-and-carry retail store.
Winslow’s Wine Cellar will add a convenient stop to pick up beer and wine, and will continue to allow cafe patrons to take home a bottle or even a case of their favorites.
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The building also will provide some needed office and storage space, and will become the home of Winslow Charities. Berry has been actively involved in fundraising for dog-centric charities for years, in honor of his faithful companion Winslow.
A portrait of the handsome blue heeler with one brown eye and one blue eye hangs near the bar. The namesake for Winslow’s Wine Cafe and Winslow’s Wine Cellar died three years ago, and still receives a fond remembrance and toast by friends and family.
An annual fundraiser is held at the restaurant, where money is raised (around $18,000-$20,000 each year) and distributed to local charities such as Animal Hope and the Humane Society. The highlight of the event is an auction where several dogs are adopted. It is Berry’s passion, and he currently shares his home with three rescues: Poncho, Lefty and Miley. He looks forward to expanding Winslow Charities in coming years.
“Winslow’s Wine Cellar will be beer and wine only,” says Berry. “We plan to have about 160 labels on hand, in a temperature-controlled room, along with some in a chilled case. Customers can also take home the makings for a quick charcuterie board — we’ll have a pre-packaged selection of cheeses, olives and crackers in a small market area.”
The wines will reflect the cafe menu, so you can pick up any of those 60 bottles at retail pricing, plus have the chance to explore new wines. “Knowing our clientele, I also expect we will have some special orders to accommodate. They can call and ask for a case of something special and we will let them know when the shipment arrives for pick up,” he says. Berry is even working on the possibility of an online pre-order fulfillment service.
Members of the popular Wine of the Month Club meet at Winslow’s Wine Cafe on the first Monday of the month to taste the chosen wines, interact with the wine representative, and socialize and snack. Soon they will be able to walk across the street to pick up their two bottles of wine (either two whites, two reds, or a combination).
The hours, to begin, will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Customers' requests will help dictate the hours, Berry says. “If I hear someone say it once, I listen. If they say the same thing twice, I write it down. When I hear it a third time…I change it,” he says.