The folks behind Chandler's Vintage 95 wine bar and eatery have brought the booze to a new concept in an unexpected place. Called V95 Wine Lounge & Coffee Bar, the new spot offers a varied selection of wines by the glass and bottle, light dining options, and a full coffee bar.
And you'll find it all right in the middle of the food court at Scottsdale Fashion Square.
The mid-mall wine bar comes courtesy of husband-and-wife team Tricia and Craig Hills, Jesse Hallock, and Gavin Jacobs, who was a bartender and manager at House of Tricks in Tempe before he opened Vintage 95 in 2011. It opened quietly about nine weeks ago and, Jacobs says, business already has been booming.
The small space can accommodate about 30 people in the "dining room," a seating area with comfortable booths, tables, and stools. Another eight people can sit at the bar. The whole space is enclosed by walls that create some sense of privacy and separation from the rest of the mall and food court.
On the menu you'll find 15 wines available by the glass, ranging in price from $7.50 up to $19 for Prisoner Wine Co.'s "Prisoner" red blend. There also are 40 bottles available for purchase, starting around $30 and topping $100 (for bottles such as Trinchero Cabernet Sauvignon "Cloud's Nest Vineyard").
And the best part might be that V95 also is able to make retail wine sales. So now you can pick up a bottle to take home (or gift) while you're shopping at the mall.
For now, the wine bar isn't offering Arizona wines, but Jacobs says he's thinking about serving an Arizona flight of wines in the future. Beers -- all available by the bottle -- include such local options as Four Peak's Peach Ale, as well as some familiar craft brews including Deschutes Chainbreaker IPA, Left Hand Nitro milk stout, and Bell's Oberon wheat ale.
The menu, as you might expect from a restaurant with a kitchen as big as a regular restaurant's bathroom, is small. It includes cheese and charcuterie boards, Caprese skewers, Queen Creek olives, and stuffed dates. There are three types of sandwiches and one salad, should you wish to make your trip into more of a meal.
V95 also serves a full coffee and espresso menu, with standards like drip and iced coffee alongside the spot's "signature" drinks such as the V95 Salted Caramel Latte. It's surprisingly well-balanced considering how super-sweet flavored lattes tend to be. And if you're wondering where the place is sourcing the beans, know they're from Espresso Italia in Tempe. Jacobs selected a roast just for V95.
On Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., the bar is hosting live entertainment from local musician Nate Huss -- though Jacobs warns that if you want a seat you'll have to get there early.
"I want to awe my guests when they come here," Jacobs says.
V95 Wine Lounge 7014 E. Camelback Road (Fashion Square Mall) 480-947-0025 www.v95winelounge.com
(hours same as mall) 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday