This post has been updated.
Louisville has taken a deep dive into its native bourbon and in recent years started exploring wine varieties more thoroughly. Now, one group wants to direct that desire for knowledge toward Champagne and sparkling wines.
Husband and wife, Brad and Charlotte Stengel, along with their nephew Eric Wentworth, are opening a lounge called The Champagnery at Architype Gallery, located at 1764 Frankfort Ave.
“There is really no place in Louisville that really explores Champagne,” said Charlotte Stengel, who owns Architype Gallery with business partner Dena Wilson.
Stengel and her husband also own the physical building, along with Chip Hill and Connie Hill. Wentworth is one of the owners of The Hub on Frankfort Avenue and is bringing his bar experience to the table.
The building, which was originally an apothecary, will go through some renovations, but they plan to honor the building’s historic architecture, according to Stengel. “We are taking as many measures as we can to really highlight as many original architectural features as we can.”
The front of the building will be transformed into the bar area with seating and a piano for music. The front space will lead back to additional lounge seating and art gallery space, though art will be prominently displayed throughout. The partners expect to have roughly 50 seats throughout the building.
“The Champagnery is not replacing Architype Gallery; it is collaborative,” Stengel explained.
Customers will be able to rent a space at the back of the building for both private tastings and private art viewings.
The drink menu will include Champagne and sparkling wine by the glass, in flights or in cocktail form. The Champagnery also will offer a full bar for those who want something else. It will serve minimal food, Wentworth said, likely cheese and charcuterie plates.
The goal of The Champagnery, Wentworth said, is to educate people about Champagne and sparkling wines.
“There is a surprising amount of variance,” he said.
The partners are still working out exactly how many Champagnes and sparkling wines they will offer and how much they will charge. Wentworth said they want it to be “approachably priced.”
“We don’t want people to be intimidated” by the Champagne or the artwork, Stengel added.
The building has always felt like a public space, she said. Even when it housed Stengel Hill Architecture a decade ago, people would stop in during trolley hops thinking it was an art gallery because of all the drawings on the wall.
Since becoming an actual gallery, Architype Gallery has been an active participant in the trolley hops and regularly host events. With The Champagnery, they hope to grow that feeling even more. Stengel said she wants the lounge to be a destination spot and complement other Frankfort Avenue businesses.
The Champagnery is expected to open in spring 2018. It will employ roughly seven people.