Thursday, April 18, 2024

Wine A Bit Says a Fond Farewell With Last Minute Deals and Thanks to the Community

After 17 years, Dale and Patti Nordengreen say goodbye to the community this week at Wine a Bit.

Known as the “Cheers” bar, “where everybody knows your name” has been the moniker for Wine A Bit for the past 17 years. Owners Patti and Dale Nordengreen remark that they also know their customers’ dogs’ names, who regularly come to sit on the outdoor patio. This week is a final goodbye to the duo and their six employees who will close the doors for the last time on Sunday, February 18. When their lease recently came up for renewal, they found that the new terms and rent didn’t pencil out to stay in business. They are currently running a 20 percent off sale on everything, with prices dipping to 30 percent off wine and 40 percent off accessories starting Thursday through Sunday.

Wine A Bit at 928 Orange Avenue in Coronado will close its doors for the final time on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024

And while it’s emotional to say goodbye to staff, friends, and members of their wine club, they share, “It has been an amazing journey, and we want to thank the community for their support, and we treasure the many friends we have made through the years.”

The two met as neighbors in San Diego and both have backgrounds in high tech. With a passion for wine, Patti opened the store originally as the franchise WineStyles in 2007. After a year, Dale joined her and they operated the franchise until 2013, when they decided to become an independent retailer, and renamed it Wine A Bit. Dale, who wasn’t initially a wine drinker, spent time educating himself to the intricacies of wines and now says his favorite is Syrah.

Their concept has been simple, to create a welcoming environment where people felt comfortable asking questions about wine. They also catered to those with discerning palettes looking discover new wines through their sommelier, whose favorite wine is Hawk and Horse. A wide array of accessories with humorous sayings, on everything from glasses and cork holders to dish towels, is also available.

Starting out just serving cheese plates to go with the wines, they have expanded their menu over the years, and Patti notes that customers’ favorites are the flatbread pizzas and gourmet chocolate truffles to pair with their wine. Bold red wines have proven to be the most popular, and they feature a variety of small production boutique wines from different regions in California, as well as a dozen countries.

“We found that people didn’t always know what they preferred, and we were happy to help them make selections,” reflects Patti, who favors Cabernet. One of the great things for customers was their bar, where they could get a glass of wine before deciding which bottles to purchase. During the pandemic they were able to pivot and offer to-go wines by the glass, bottle bundle specials, and wine club selections. They note that the loyal locals have always kept them going, especially during COVID. One popular change that came after was the installation of their Napa Technologies Wine Tasting Stations, where customers can pour one ounce, two ounces, or five ounce serving sizes.

With a wine club of more than 250 members, Wine a Bit also offered a back room that was popular for hosting small events, private tastings, book clubs, and other groups. Live music has proven especially popular on Friday and Saturday evenings.

What’s next for these two? Dale said he doesn’t like the word retired, so he will definitely find a hobby. Traveling and enjoying free time are also on their list. They treasure the relationships formed through the years and encourage everyone to come by to say farewell and take advantage of their “Let’s make a deal” sale as they close Wine a Bit, 928 Orange Avenue, which will be open for this final week: Wednesday and Thursday noon to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday noon to 10 pm, and Sunday, Feb. 18 noon until closing.

Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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