Learn about their business launch story, overcoming the pandemic, and future plans for growth. PLUS, catch the details of an exciting week of celebrations coming up that you don't want to miss!
From Idea to Inception
Salesman by day, wine connoisseur by night — that’s the simple life Steve Severance lived before an unique opportunity fell into his lap to become a small business owner.
After getting laid off from his job due to his department dissolving, an entrepreneurial light bulb sparked brightly and changed the course of his life. As committed wine club members of multiple wineries and avid wine bottle collectors (over 400!), Steve and his wife, Karen, knew they were called to start their own wine business.
But opening a wine bar wasn’t the business they originally envisioned.
With several unique ideas and business models within the wine industry floating around, the opportunity to purchase a former wine bar unexpectedly paved the way for them to open Steve’s Wine Bar.
Formerly Vigne Wine Shop and Delicatessen, Steve turned that tiny space on Hickory Street into a thriving wine bar with live jazz music and a wine club bringing folks in throughout the week.
Their [Wine Glass] Overfloweth
Within a couple years of opening, they had outgrown the small space that was regularly overflowing with crowds on live music nights. But the stars aligned and the space across the street next to Rooster’s popped up for lease (formerly Seniors in Motion) — and it was the perfect place to expand into.
After taking the plunge to lease the larger space and complete an array of renovations, including a back patio addition to support the wishes of many of their 100+ wine club members, the new Steve’s Wine Bar location became an instant success.
Now with 200+ wine club members, a larger space to host locals comfortably on popular live music evenings, and a back patio with twinkling lights to set the mood, Steve’s Wine Bar has become an instrumental part of the Denton community as a thriving small business.
Then Came COVID-19
When the pandemic first hit and temporarily forced them to close their doors, Steve was dedicated to staying afloat (and maintaining their staff!) as a thank you to the continuous, loyal support of their community. Through wine and beer sales to-go, wine club member tastings to-go, small business loans and grants, and the support of over 200 wine club members, Steve's Wine Bar remains stronger than ever.
Like the wise entrepreneur he is, Steve found the silver lining (and a way to adapt) to not being at the wine bar everyday during that time. He utilized that much-needed free time to focus on improving his business model with online website sales, inventory management, and much more.
Steve also knew how important it was to keep live music in the picture for his customers. So he found a way to offer live musical performances streamed online with the help of the Musical Performance Trust Fund — which also helped local musicians get income during that difficult year. He was even able to install official production equipment to allow for future live streaming performances, recording and production to benefit the musicians.
While Steve’s Wine Bar is and will always be a wine bar first (not a music venue), he continues to offer live music events as the cherry on top for wine lovers who come to the bar to enjoy a glass of vino. Even on nights that require a small cover charge, it helps support the musician as they bring immense joy to customers who visit the bar.
Staying Denton Involved
Steve Severance proves to be a true part of the Denton community with his continuous involvement in local events, organizations and even just giving back to musicians to support their creative dreams.
He is an active member of the Denton Main Street Association (since 2016), Denton Chamber of Commerce, and other local organizations — you’re bound to see him at any given event!
Steve loves being part of the DMSA (including being on the Board of Directors) to support the organization and all the awesome local events they put on to keep Denton’s Historic District and small businesses thriving. He says it’s also a great way to build connections and increase exposure for small business owners!
Planning for the Future
Steve and Karen are toying with some of their original wine business ideas to expand Steve’s Wine Bar into exciting new avenues. The secret will remain locked away for now as we let their ideas unfold into actionable realities, but just know that Steve’s Wine Bar has no plans to stop growing!
A 5-Year Anniversary Celebration
As Steve’s Wine Bar celebrates five years as an influential downtown Denton business, Steve says there’s a lot of exciting things coming up the first week of August that locals don’t want to miss out on.
The anniversary party starts on Tuesday, August 3rd and lasts until Saturday, August 7th. But their official anniversary date is Thursday, August 5th and that’s going to be an evening worth putting in the books! Each day gets better, has a different ticket price and includes unique offerings.
Check out the celebration line up happening at Steve’s that’s included with that day’s ticket price:
Tuesday, August 3rd: Live music & glass of wine (or beer).
Wednesday, August 4th: Live music, glass of wine (or beer), and a personal Ten:One cheese board.
Thursday, August 5th: Live music, glass of wine (or beer), exclusive Steve’s Wine Bar Swag Bag with an anniversary t-shirt, Steve’s Wine Bar anniversary wine glass, wine bag, wine glass topper (to protect from outdoor bugs), and food from Chestnut Tree Bistro.
Friday, August 6th: Live music, glass of wine (or beer), exclusive Steve’s Wine Bar Swag Bag with an anniversary t-shirt, Steve’s Wine Bar anniversary wine glass, wine bag, wine glass topper (to protect from outdoor bugs). No food.
- Saturday, August 7th: Live music, glass of wine (or beer), exclusive Steve’s Wine Bar Swag Bag with an anniversary t-shirt, Steve’s Wine Bar anniversary wine glass, wine bag, wine glass topper (to protect from outdoor bugs). Discount vouchers towards food truck available outside of the bar.
Or you can get a week-long pass for a discounted rate! Wine club members also have automatically discounted ticket prices (25% off) for any event day.
Buy tickets in advance if you plan to attend Thursday through Saturday events (that include a t-shirt) to be guaranteed you receive your desired size.
Learn more about these daily events: https://www.steveswinebar.com/Our-Wines-and-Products/Specials
And last but not least…
Steve’s Wine Bar has a special feature on District 7 Wine going on for a limited time!
When you come in and purchase glasses of wine or bottles of District 7 wines at Steve’s Wine Bar, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a specially designed electric guitar (Fender Squire, Stratecaster style) with free online guitar lessons included.
Check out more info about this drawing on their Facebook Page.
Author: Courtney Stucky | Aspiro Agency