The popular wine bar and restaurant Dilworth Tasting Room is expanding. In the first quarter of 2021, it will open its second location in SouthPark in the former Corkbuzz space.
After opening in 2016, Dilworth Tasting Room quickly became a favorite date night spot for Charlotteans. Known for its charcuterie boards, cocktail program, and comprehensive wine list, DTR is bringing all of that to its new Sharon Square location.
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The biggest change diners will notice is DTR SouthPark’s emphasis on food. The original DTR spot didn’t have a full kitchen, so this new location gives chef Jonathan Shuler room to grow the menu, owner Jaffer Kovic says.
“We’re going to be expanding what we already built,” Kovic says of the three core parts to the restaurant: wine, cocktails, and food.
The build-out: Over the next couple months, the 4,000-square-foot space will undergo a light remodel with new furniture and a larger dining room. Kovic says the space will have a similar lounge feel as the original DTR.
Kovic had been looking to expand prior to the pandemic, but paused those plans in March. Once the Corkbuzz space came open, it just made sense, he says.
Corkbuzz, which closed in July, was known for its wine program, led by co-owner and master sommelier Laura Maniec Fiorvanti. Having space for wine storage already built in is a huge plus, Kovic says.
“Much respect to (co-owners) Frank (Vafier) and Laura,” Kovic says. “They did an amazing job in that location.”
Outdoor space: It wouldn’t be DTR without outdoor space. Its original location is known for its lush garden and patio area complete with a koi pond. The SouthPark space will have outdoor seating for about 50 — sorry, no koi pond.
Wine: Kovic is planning to have about 350 to 475 wine selections available, all of which have been heavily curated by a yet-to-be-named sommelier.
Food: The focus will be on small plates, but DTR SouthPark will also have entrées like large porterhouse steaks and whole-roasted fish. Kovic, who’s Croatian, also says to expect a few coastal Croatian dishes.
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Cocktails: Kovic calls the expanded cocktail program at DTR SouthPark “aggressive.” Expect experiential cocktails that crank DTR’s current offerings up a notch. There will also be a few rotating cocktails available on draft.
Location: The exact address is 4905 Ashley Park Lane, Ste. J.
Timeline: The DTR team is aiming for an opening within the first quarter of 2021.
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