The cafe on the corner of 35th and Evanston in Fremont now has a little less tea and chocolate and a lot more wine.
The late Wine Tea Chocolate featured different kinds of tea, wine and chocolate and provided classes focusing on each specialty.
Now, with a new name and a new image, The Barrel Thief, a wine and whiskey bar, has a new focus.
The owner of The Barrel Thief, Christopher Gronbeck, has envisioned this change on the company’s plans for a while, according to The Barrel Thief’s manager, Hattie Mason.
When they started adding more alcohol to the menu, people got confused about the company image.
“It got kind of confusing because we were called Wine Tea Chocolate, and people were like, ‘well, what are you?’ So that’s why the owner was like, ‘okay, we have to be; we just have to have one direction, one focus.’ So we changed it to a wine and whiskey bar,” Mason said.
The Barrel Thief is now aiming to offer more unique drinks.
“We have a lot of products, like our spirits and such. We make a lot of our own aged cocktails, our own bitters, our own infusions,” Mason said. “The idea is to have a lot of local stuff and a lot of unique things that no one’s really heard of.”
Rachael Sewell, an employee and a customer of the once Wine Tea Chocolate, said it was the uniqueness of Wine Tea Chocolate that drew her to the company.
“I really liked when it was Wine Tea Chocolate because I thought it was really great — something that’s a little more unique than other things that have popped up here,” Sewell said.
However, Sewell said she has been enjoying some of the changes.
“Now they have more food and a bigger selection of foods, so that’s actually really nice. I felt that their food selection wasn’t super solid before. Like, they had a lighter menu, and now they have a more solid menu,” she said.
Along with the menu changes, The Barrel Thief has different hours of business.
“We have more bar hours now; we do brunch on Saturdays and Sundays,” Mason said.
The wine and whiskey bar is open 4–11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 p.m.–midnight Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.–midnight Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday, and closed Monday.
“I think that the wine and tea thing is more like a day thing, so it didn’t really go into the evening, so I saw why they actually changed,” Sewell said.
Although still a bar, The Barrel Thief offers all-age dinning areas for anyone who wants to make The Barrel Thief their new study or hangout spot.