Later this summer, local entrepreneurs Craig Dziadowicz and Danielle Middlebrook will do their part to up the cool factor of downtown Phoenix by opening a wine store called Hidden Track Bottle Shop. Located at 111 West Monroe (in the same high-rise that houses the new coffeeshop Mornin' Moonshine), Hidden Track will sell hand-selected bottles of wine that you otherwise may have not heard of.
Better yet? They'll even deliver it straight to you.
The pair have put an abundant amount of thought into creating what otherwise would be a straightforward wine store. For starters, Middlebrook says, the meaning of the name "Hidden Track" is two-fold: First, because the shop is located a little bit out of the way in the lobby of 111 West Monroe and also because the wine they'll be selling won't be the “marketed to hell” wine you see at Total Wine.
The store has been in the works for nearly 18 months. After looking at property in and around the Roosevelt neighborhood, Dziadowicz and Middlebrook settled on a downtown locale. While the 18-story office tower might seem a strange place for a boutique wine shop, the building suits them. Dziadowicz notes that it was erected in the same decade as the Beatles' release of the first ever hidden track, giving a third meaning to the shop's moniker.
Middlebrook says she hopes the 600-square-foot shop will be an inviting space for locals to gather, though they won't pursue a license to serve wine for some time — if ever. The west wall of the shop will be reserved as gallery space for local artists. The first exhibit will feature work by emerging photographer Liz Calabria and will change seasonally. With the shop located in not-too-distant proximity to Roosevelt Row, Dziadowicz and Middlebrook hope to eventually connect with First Friday Art Walk participants. A vintage record player will spin LPs by Motown artists, New Kids on the Block, and other classic artists.
Dziadowicz says they plan to offer delivery anywhere in Arizona with fees based on volume and distance. Within downtown Phoenix itself, delivery will hopefully be by bike, weather permitting. But anywhere in Arizona? We tested Dziadowicz and Middleton on this. What about the Grand Canyon? What if a camper at Phantom Ranch wants a bottle from Hidden Track to drink? Dziadowicz laughs, "Delivery to Phantom Ranch is free!"
Looking to the future, Dziadowicz and Middlebrook hope to grow Hidden Track according to the needs of their neighbors and regulars. Although they aren't looking to expand the size of the shop, they are considering pursuing a license to serve their wines during tastings, as well as start wine clubs and incorporate events like special bottlings.
It's fair to say that Dziadowicz has been around the block a few times when it comes to wine. He's been a bartender and a server, and has worked in other wine shops (even once as a partner), for wine distributors, and as a broker. As anyone who's worked in the beverage industry can attest, it can start to wear on you after a time, and before he met Middlebrook, Dziadowicz swore he'd never work in wine again.
Cue Middlebrook's entrance. The two met in 2012, and after catching onto Dziadowicz's enthusiasm for wine, Middlebrook suggested they consider opening a wine shop.
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While the pair has lived in Phoenix for several years now — Dziadowicz works as a wine broker, and Middlebrook sells software for a tech company — they moved into the Willo District near downtown only one year ago.
“There was nowhere to buy wine,” Dziadowicz says, at least not without traveling outside of the neighborhood. Both travel regularly for work and noticed that other large cities already has boutique coffee shops, wine bars, and wine shops. Somehow downtown Phoenix has eluded the latter — until now.