The proprietors of a year-round wine bar coming to Wiscasset village will call the business In a Silent Way, after a Miles Davis album.
Chandler Sowden and Zack Goodwin hope to open the wine bar in a vacant space at 65 Main St., between Wiscasset Bay Gallery and Trifles, in early spring. In addition to wine, In a Silent Way will offer snacks and a few other beverage options.
The couple is going through the permitting and licensing process for the business. On Dec. 23, the Wiscasset Planning Board approved their site plan review application.
Sowden said the partners, who expect to move closer to the Wiscasset area, found the location in a “serendipitous” way.
“We happened to park and walk around one day while driving through and poked our heads in the window,” Sowden said. “A neighbor walked up and asked us if we were interested in the space and then graciously connected us with someone who could show us the space and gave us a tour around the block while we waited.”
“We were drawn to the space itself, combined with the hospitality of the village; it just seemed like the right place for us,” she said.
The space previously housed an art gallery and, before that, a florist, according to Sowden.
The pair has not run a wine bar before, but spent several years in the restaurant business in San Francisco, where they lived before moving to Maine.
Sowden spent many childhood summers in Maine and has “always been looking for a reason to move here,” she said.
Goodwin traveled to Maine with Sowden a few years back and they “were both so taken by the quality of ingredients being produced and harvested in the state,” Sowden said.
“That was a huge pull,” she said.
“The wine bar seemed like a good place to start – build from the wine list up – plus, the space we found is really best suited for a wine bar,” she said. She also enjoys the atmosphere of wine bars.
The bar will offer a variety of quality wines from a rotating wine list.
Sowden said she couldn’t give more details because the inventory will depend on what distributors have available. The couple plans to collect wines so they can offer customers wines they have cellared.
Non-wine options will include cured meats, cheese, one or two beer options, and a cocktail low in alcohol.
“In a Silent Way” is a 1969 album by Davis, the jazz trumpeter and composer.
“We chose the name first because it’s a favorite album of ours, but the meaning seemed (to) encompass a lot of the things we love about wine and Maine,” Sowden said.
The bar will have a “minimal and clean aesthetic” and “a casual upscale environment,” she said.
In the beginning, Sowden and Goodwin will run the business themselves. They expect to hire employees later.