GRAYTON BEACH — A local business has expanded its brand, but with a twist.
Owners of Black Bear Bread Co., a South Walton bakery, decided after about a year and a half in business to alter their concept by opening the Bar Room.
The business in the Shops of Grayton is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. today and will offer wines from places including Slovenia, Austria and the Canary Islands, said Phil McDonald, executive chef and managing partner.
"There are some interesting flavor profiles that people are going to try for the first time here, and they're going to be surprised," McDonald said. "It's up to us to guide them. ... It's all about how we sell it and turn people on to new and exciting things."
He added that most wines can be broken down into three categories: organic, biodynamic and natural. The Bar Room has all three.
McDonald, whose passion for wine stemmed from the early years of his culinary career, said generic wines are often times loaded with added sugars and preservatives.
In natural wines however, the wine maker ferments the grapes with minimal intervention, leaving behind unfiltered tastes and indigenous yeasts, he added.
"A lot of headaches that people get and a lot of the hangovers that people get from drinking wine is a result of their body's interactions with sulfites and the preservatives that are used," said Dave Rauschkolb, business partner and owner of Bud & Alley's Waterfront Restaurant & Bar.
Rauschkolb said the Bar Room will be open from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. It also will be available to rent for catered events after closing time.
It will also feature Black Bear's menu in addition to beer, new lunch items and farm-raised oysters from Florida and Alabama, McDonald said.
He added that 30 to 40 types of wines will be available to purchase by the bottle, with 10 to 12 types available by the glass.
Looking ahead, they plan to open a second location of Black Bear Bread Co. at the Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard.
"We don't like to do grand openings," Rauschkolb said. "More than likely, it will be a nice, soft opening and the experience will be grand following that."