For downtown Delray Beach -- a city rife with restaurants, bars, coffee shops and cafes -- it seems nearly every cuisine and concept has been covered. What could possibly come next?
How about a wine bar that's more self-serve than sit-down, with a line-up of events as varied and approachable as its menu? Welcome N2 Winebar to Pineapple Grove.
Not your average wine bar, N2 is one part self-serve tasting room and one-part retail space, a place where patrons can browse a unique, hand-picked selection of boutique and small-batch wines and sample them without having to wait for the bartender's attention.
How? The establishment's open concept offers a comfortable lounge area surrounded by a perimeter of wine dispensing cases, as well as a small retail space complete with a semi-private tasting area for larger groups. Here, the vibe is cool and relaxed -- not uptight and snooty. You're meant to meander and mingle while enjoying soft music or whatever is on the big screen, including three TV's and an 8-foot projector that will highlight soccer, horse racing, U.S. sports and vintage movies.
N2 Winebar is the brainchild of lifelong Delray Beach resident Ronald L. Voss, and co-owner Kyle S. DeSantis of Coral Springs. Together, the two men embarked on a mission they describe as "challenging, yet fun," creating a wine bar that went beyond the usual necessities like a hand-picked menu and knowledgable staff.
Instead, N2 Winebar is offering an experience unlike any in South Florida thanks to a selection of more than 150 wines by the bottle, 64 of which are self-serve wine dispensers that allow patrons to select custom pours with 1-, 3- and 5-ounce servings. Each open bottle is stored and served at its recommended temperature, and will remain as though freshly-opened for up to 20 days (if it lasts that long), priced according to pour volume. Simply activate a card, fill it with funds, and use it to sample whatever is on "tap."
If you're more about being served than self-serve, and prefer the guidance of a bartender, a similar machine is located behind the bar where eight additional bottles will rotate weekly. It will also be a place to partake in a wine flight or two. And although the focus is on the wine, N2 will also be serving craft beers and cider by the bottle, as well as a small menu of gourmet meats, cheeses and small plates.
Part of the concept means there will also be plenty of wine education, one of which includes N2's regular tasting event held every other Wednesday at 7 p.m., and wine classes every Sunday at 2 p.m., open to all level of oenophile. Tastings and classes will be $15 unless pre-advertised; the fee will be waived if you purchase any bottle at $15 or more. N2 will also have a sommelier on hand for one night each month where collectors can break out their favorite bottles to share with like-minded wine professionals.
N2 Winebar and the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating the establishment's official ribbon cutting ceremony today at 5 p.m., and will be open for business this evening.
N2 Winebar is located at The Hyatt Place in Pineapple Grove, 104 NE Second Ave., in Delray Beach. For more information call 561-278-6802, or visit the website and Facebook page.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.