With the bi-annual Wilmington Wine and Beer Walk just around the corner, downtown Wilmington’s finest restaurants and taverns ready themselves for the crowds of enthusiasts eager to try something new. This self-guided tasting tour will kick off Saturday, February 28, at Ziggy’s by the Sea and progress through 10 different venues. Each walker will receive two samples of specially selected wine or beer at every participating establishment, as they traverse the beautiful, historic downtown district.
The event is far from a mere bar crawl: It exposes people to downtown’s unique atmosphere while bringing support to local businesses. “We always schedule the walk for the last Saturdays in February and September to help ease the lull for businesses,” Chris Andrews, founder of Cool Wilmington Productions, says. “Things start to get slow after Christmas and the summer season. The wine and beer walk helps bring people back out and shows them all the things downtown has to offer.”
The list of participating restaurants and taverns varies and rotates between each walk, giving new locations a chance to get involved. Fortunate Glass Wine Bar, Hell’s Kitchen, Front Street Brewery, Calico Room, Slice of Life, Costello’s Piano Bar, Orton’s Pool Hall, and Bella’s Bar LoCal are stocked and ready for Saturday. Bombers Beverage Co., named after a term used for craft beer packaged in 22 fluid ounce bottles, is new to the list. They will offer customers over 500 different beverage products, including to-go beers (to enjoy at home, not on the streets).
“We’re excited about Bombers and what they bring to the walk,” Andrews says. “We’re also happy to have a well-known place like Slice of Life at their new location on Market Street. Any awareness we can bring to them and their new place is what the walk is all about. ”
Restaurants and taverns are not the only establishments contributing to the walk: Front Street Optometric Care, a full-service eye care establishment, will be offering their own specially chosen samples of wine, too. “This is a great way to advertise and get people to come in and meet you,” Andrews says. “[It’s] A great way to get involved with people you wouldn’t normally come across. I hope more businesses see them and join in.”
The event has sold out every year since its inception andn it helps more than just the venues it enlists. All of downtown will be highlighted as the wide demographic of walkers and spectators increase foot traffic.
“The goal is to promote businesses while introducing people to new things,” Andrews tells. “Whether that’s a new wine or beer or a new favorite place to eat or shop it doesn’t matter—as long as people are exploring downtown and having fun. That’s what we set out to do, and it’s worked very well.”
Tickets for the Wilmington Wine and Beer Walk can be purchased at The Fortunate Glass and Front Street Brewery, or online at Etix.com. Prices are $16 for one person or $27 for two. The walk starts 1 p.m. at Ziggy’s by the Sea, where ticket-holders will receive their official walk ID and map of the participating establishments; it continues till 6 p.m.
Wilmington Wine and Beer Walk
Multiple venuse across downtown Wilmington
Sat., Feb. 28, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.