A group of Single Thread alums plan to open a modern wine bar in downtown Healdsburg in early 2022 dubbed Maison Healdsburg. Owners Evan and Jade Hufford and Ryan Knowles said diners at the Michelin-starred Single Thread were often interested in having a glass of wine after their meals — sometimes as late as midnight — with little available after hours in town.
“We saw a huge need for a wine bar in Healdsburg. There’s a high demand from diners and the hospitality workers who are dying for somewhere to go,” said Evan Hufford, a professional sommelier who was the opening wine director at Single Thread. His wife, Jade, was a service director at the restaurant and business partner Ryan Knowles, a certified sommelier, was also on the opening team at Single Thread.
They’re banking on that after-hours crowd, with the eyebrow-raising hours of 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. in this sleepy county.
“It will depend on demand,” said Hufford, adding that he’s seen demand growing as vaccine rates increase.
“People are starting to feel good now, and they want to have fun. The three of us felt there was a niche missing for late-night wine in Healdsburg ever since Bergamot Alley closed,” he said.
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But it won’t be all Dom Pérignon and Harlan Estate at Maison Healdsburg. The wine bar owners also want to create a space that’s welcoming to anyone who wants a glass of well-curated wine.
“We’ll have some affordable options, and we don’t want to alienate anyone,” Hufford said.
What’s getting buzz, however, is their very proletariat plan to open coveted older bottles — gems that Hufford and his partners love to track down for collectors — and offer tastes by the glass.
“No one would normally do that, but we want people to be able to taste the iconic bottlings of the world without going broke,” he said. They plan to announce those bottle openings on Instagram.
There also will be a teaching component (Hufford teaches at the SF Wine School), to engage locals in learning about global and local wines.
The wine bar will be next door to the forthcoming Lo & Behold (214 Healdsburg Ave.), opening soon at the former Mateo’s Cocina Latina. Former Duke’s Spirited Cocktails partners Laura Sanfilippo and Tara Heffernon are partnering with Chef Sean Raymond Kelley for a small-plates and cocktails lounge.