We opened Vindinista in February 2015. The drug dealers pretending to run the car hire shop across the had finally legged it and the owner heard the couple with the wine shop wanted to do a pop-up bar. One day he popped in and just left us with the keys.
The back-of-an-envelope idea was to run a small wine bar that punched above its weight. Interesting, unusual wines, places you'd never heard of, grapes you couldn't pronounce and all at neighbourhood prices. Everyone with a wine shop was doing it, why shouldn't we?
We'd spent enough time in bars over the years, had careers in journalism and corporate life and we'd successfully opened and run the shop - how hard could it be?
Let's put it this way. In terms of complexity, think of a shop in terms of a sundial. Each day a single shadow moves deliberately around the face until it gets dark.. In comparison, a bar is like a pocket watch. It's full of a million tiny, moving parts, any one of which can bring service to a standstill without warning. Every. Single. Night.
Anyway, what started as a pop-up lasted four great years. Winemaker tastings, cocktail nights, dinners, parties, DJs, playlists, Twin Peaks... We spanked the arse out of just 4m x 5m and it was an absolute blast. Very hard work, but we had a lot of fun, making some great friends along the way. These are a few pictures from some of those nights.
But all good things... and in 2019, with the shop lease coming up and Brexit coming down the tracks, we smelt the coffee and rolled both businesses into one. These days Vindinista is an award winning, neighbourhood wine shop. It's still full of brilliant people and still, very much, punching way above its weight.