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Steve’s Wine Bar: A Grape in a World of Hops

Steve’s Wine Bar: A Grape in a World of Hops

Denton, Texas 04/05/2017 Steve and Karen Severance sit on the couch near the entrance of Steve's Wine Bar. The bar is located on 219 E. Hickory St. and opens from Monday through Sunday starting at 3 p.m. Husband and wife have shared a passion for wine that materialized in the opening of the bar last August. To Steve, nobody was doing anything exciting with wine and he wanted to make the drink more accesible to people. Jennyfer Rodriguez

Steve’s Wine Bar: A Grape in a World of Hops
April 06
00:26 2017

Just past the Square on Hickory Street lies a new Denton bar that’s in a whole other ballpark than ones you’ll find on Fry Street.

Married couple Steve and Karen Severance have experienced their fair share of travels between meeting at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and raising their two children in Denton. Regardless of where their journeys took them, the Severances tried as many local wines as possible.

Their love for the drink kickstarted their habit of hosting wine dinners at their house in efforts to engage their friends in the “whole wine experience.”

But owning a wine bar was never in the plan for the Severances. Steve had spent years working in the corporate sales field.

“When I got laid off from my job about a year ago, my friends kept telling me ‘Steve, you need to go do something with wine,'” Steve said.

The location that houses Steve’s Wine Bar has actually served as a wine bar since 2010 under a number of ownerships. It was Vigne Wine Shop before Steve got in contact with the owner, who was trying to sell the space. Steve made an offer to purchase it, and the space reopened as Steve’s Wine Bar on Aug. 5, 2016.

“The reality is we didn’t aspire to open a wine bar,” Steve said.

While this endeavor was certainly not in the plans for the Severances, they clearly enjoy being able to share their passion for wine with their guests. Steve credits a visit at Audacity Brewhouse for fueling his desire to run a wine bar.

“Denton continues to do great things with beer,” Steve said, motioning to the few draft beers the wine bar also offers. “And don’t get me wrong, I love beer. But nobody was doing exciting or fun in the wine business.”

While some might consider wine a sophisticated affair, Steve aims to convey the message that enjoying wine doesn’t have to be so serious. Live jazz music can be heard at Steve’s each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night, showcasing just a few of Denton’s many jazz musicians.

“Steve runs everything,” Karen said. “I am here to support him and be here for whatever he needs.”

A wine rack filled with bottles decorates the back wall at Steve’s Wine Bar. The bar, located 219 E. Hickory St., is owned by Steve and Karen Severance. Husband and wife have shared a passion for wine that materialized in the opening of the bar last August. Jennyfer Rodriguez

Karen also serves as president of the Denton Morning Rotary Club, but has been able to dedicate a good portion of her free time to assist her husband at the wine bar.

“It was not necessarily in my plan to be doing something totally new at this point,” Karen said. “But I’ve been able to step back from a few things so that I can be here so often.”

What really sets Steve’s apart from other bars in Denton is their wine club.

The couple tries to showcase as many wines as they can in house, but they also like to share something special and new with dedicated customers.

“We have our monthly wine club,” Steve said. “We have about 150 wine club members now since we opened. The idea behind that was to bring in new wines every month and let the club members take them home.”

Steve’s Wine Bar has extended their hours on occasion to host social events such as meetings, bachelorette parties and even a wedding reception.

While they also offer a number of cigars, Steve was sure to point out that they don’t serve any food at the wine bar; they are a “BYOF” establishment. Guests take advantage of the surrounding broad selection of eateries.

“You’ll have a couple with a Mellow Mushroom pizza at one table, a couple with Rusty Taco at the table next to them and takeout from Andaman’s at the next,” Steve said.

While the bar is still new, Steve and Karen already have some ideas up their sleeves for the future of their business. They hope to collaborate with festivals such as the Denton Arts & Jazz Fest, and eventually host their own event to celebrate wine specifically from the 300 plus wineries in Texas.

“One of the things we really try to do is give people the opportunity to try new wines,” Karen said.

With an estimated 165 wines available at any given time, the Severances have a hard time picking a favorite. They say they often lean towards Zinfandels.

“What has been really interesting is to hear the people when they come through here and they talk about how fun it is, how relaxed it is and how they just really enjoy coming here,” Steve said.

Featured Image: Steve and Karen Severance sit on the couch near the entrance of Steve’s Wine Bar. The bar is located on 219 E. Hickory St. and is open Monday through Sunday at 3 p.m. The couple have shared a passion for wine that materialized in the opening of the bar last August. To Steve, nobody was doing anything exciting with wine and he wanted to make the drink more accesible to people. Jennyfer Rodriguez

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Abby Jones

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