Dutch's Wine Bar
in Hyde Park has been in operation since 1947, first as a popular neighborhood carry out. Renovations of late expanded the store's wine offerings and interiors. In keeping with both the establishment's history and the historic inclinations of its owners, Jay Ashmore and developer/manager Jim Cornwell, a new expansion at the bar's location on Erie Avenue will include a fine foods store that will carry the traditional name larder, rather than other names that could hang on a supplier of gourmet and seasonal food.
"We believe in the slow food movement and we want to showcase that belief to people and to demonstrate that their food can be prepared in a slow natural way," Ashmore stated. "We loved the whole idea of larder, which is a space for food storage, that once it came up we realized that it fits with our philosophy and the history of our property."
Ashmore said Dutch's Larder will carry high quality protein sources as well as secondary items such as breads, coffees, olive oil, cheese, and potentially a small seasonal produce section. The owners hope to support the community by providing local products alongside imported items.
But serving quality products is not Ashmore's and Cornwell's only concern: the proprietors also plan to educate their customers about the artisan process and the importance of the slow food movement.
"This will become an even more enriched resource for people to learn about hand crafting the artisan process, which we already do with beer and wine," Ashmore explained. "Education is paramount to what we do. We want someone to learn and continue to enjoy a quality product that they appreciate."
Even though the new addition is still in the planning process, Cornwell explained that he hopes to connect with more local farmers who support free-range farming, in order to support the local community and sell their products.
"Supporting locally owned businesses has always been an important goal of mine," Ashmore said. "By having most of the revenue staying in the community, your creating a sustainable community by not only enriching lives financially, but also from a knowledge perspective. Supporting these creates an enriched community."
The owners also plan to incorporate green construction and practices by incorporating energy-efficiency and reuse programs, such as selling refillable glass bottles for olive oil.
An opening date has yet to be announced, but could occur in fall 2011, Ashmore said.
Writer: Lisa Ensminger