107 Fourth Avenue Wine Bar and Café celebrates 20 years!
By Tahera Mufti
Whether you’re a long-time Glebe resident or a visitor to the ’hood, chances are that if you are into scrumptious food and delicious wine and cocktails, you’ve been to the 107 Fourth Avenue Wine Bar and Café. And if you haven’t, you’re missing out.
The Wine Bar, as it is affectionately known, is the brainchild of Dave Eaton, a retired investment banker from England, whose fondness for wine tasting and good eats wasn’t as easy to satisfy in the city as he thought it should be. So, he opened his own wine bar. It celebrates 20 years on July 23.
For the last decade, Chef Marcin Lazur has been running the kitchen while manager Julia Hargadon has been running the front of the house. The two of them have endured much over the past few years, as many in this industry have. They have survived the pandemic. Restaffing has been challenging but they have successfully hired people that possess the awesome vibe needed to run this great establishment. Most recently, some frozen pipes forced another closure for about five weeks.
From the outside, the Wine Bar looks like a typical duplex in the Glebe, complete with steps to a cute porch and old neighbourhood architecture and charm. The dimly lit interior reveals an intimate yet welcoming space, complete with cozy seating, a large bar with tall stools, and a menu loaded with mouth-watering food and desserts.
There are enticing cocktails and beers, but the holy grail is their wine selection. Wines are skillfully sourced, and you’ll find a robust selection for everyone’s budget. You can enjoy either a bottle or a glass.
The vibe is like no other. Combine the cool friend who always plays great music with the welcoming friend who always throws great dinner parties – now imagine you’re chilling in their living room. The Wine Bar is a warm-hearted spot with great soundtracks (curated by the owner himself) and New York-meets-Lisbon-chic decor: chalkboards with menu specials, tropical fish illuminating intimate seating and cuisine you’ll want again and again.
The casual ambiance is elegant yet refreshing. Amazing wines, food and service. Staff are extremely knowledgeable and make great recommendations.
In celebrating its 20th year, the Wine Bar joins the likes of Beckta Dining & Wine Bar, East India Company and Restaurant e18hteen. Asked if there’s a secret to their longevity and success, Hargadon explained their philosophy, “We try and deliver great customer experiences. It’s not complicated and doesn’t require constant hype and marketing blitzes. It’s about focusing on what you’ll experience when you get here. For us, it all comes down to delicious food paired with an amazing selection of wines and beverages and, of course, a great time!”
Chef Lazur has long focused on locally sourced cuisine. He highlights the importance of quality ingredients, lowering the restaurant’s footprint and supporting local farmers and the community. It shows. His Steak Frites dish is a fan favourite, while his specialty items, like Tuna Crudo and Chicken Schnitzel, leave customers drooling.
Planning to go?
Reservations are highly recommended by texting or calling 613-889-1165, even for those quieter days like Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But don’t be shy about popping in to see if there are spots at the bar. Hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Tuesday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturday.
As the weather warms up, you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors with two patio options to choose from!
Do yourself a favour and visit this lovely restaurant. The service is unmatched. The staff truly cares about your experience. The food is absolutely amazing. And if you’re new to the neighbourhood, be sure to let them know. They will welcome you like only the Wine Bar can do.
Tahera Mufti is a long-time resident and chair of Taste in the Glebe. She’s a true advocate for independent business and loves culinary experiences.
photos: Sara Wicks @swixyy