Craft cocktails and small-batch beer have been getting all the attention lately, but Somerville will soon have its very own wine bar to boast about as well. Spoke Wine Bar is set to open later this year in the former Black and Blues space at 89 Holland St. in Davis Square. The establishment is the brainchild of Felisha Foster, the former wine buyer for Dave’s Fresh Pasta, which is located just down the street.
While Foster has had several careers–in the sports industry, as a martini and wine bar owner and as a wine buyer–it was her latest stint at Dave’s that convinced her to try the restaurant thing again and bring great wines to Somerville.
“I ended up in Boston because I’m an old-world wine fan,” said Foster, who has lived in the area for nine years and worked at Dave’s for four-and-a-half. “I’m ready to do my own thing again. Everything just came together.”
Foster, who has a self-proclaimed “quirky palate,” favors austere, tart wines with lower alcohol, mostly from cool climates. As a wine buyer for Dave’s, Foster cultivated relationships with many in the community by choosing mostly French and Italian wines of a high quality often from small producers. Spoke will feature much of the same selection, with most of it available by the glass.
“The community is really in sync with me now,” Foster said. “We’re going to keep the glass pours really fresh and change it out a lot. Anything you order by the glass you’ll get to taste first.”
Though Foster is now focusing exclusively on Spoke, she will still be a presence at Dave’s, as the kitchen there will be used to prep some of the food served at the wine bar. Foster plans to serve cheese and charcuterie, paninis and other small bites once Spoke opens.
“Wine should complement the food on the table, not overpower it,” Foster said.
The kitchen will be lead by John daSilva, formerly of Barbara Lynch’s highly rated No. 9 Park, who promises to bring delicious food to Davis Square.
“I’m surrounding myself with really good people,” Foster said. To that end, Spoke will be open Wednesday through Monday, giving her staff a guaranteed day off every week and allowing her to host others in the industry on Mondays when many restaurants are closed.
“I’m a firm believer that you need that day off to prevent burnout,” Foster said, a lesson she learned working at Dave’s, which is closed on Sundays.
Spoke will seat about 45-50 patrons and also feature some classic cocktails as well as four beers on tap. Foster prefers Belgian beer and will feature several of her favorites in bottles.
Though wine is often thought of as stuffy, Foster says being a “jeans and T-shirt kind of girl” will lend the bar a casual atmosphere. Spoke, which derives its name from speakeasies and bespoke food and wine, will be the sort of place to pause and sit down with friends in a quiet, comfortable setting.
“Wine can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be,” Foster said. “This is something that the greater Boston area is lacking. There’s nothing like it in Somerville.”
And soon Davis Square will not only be home to Foster’s wine bar, but it will be her residence as well. She currently lives near the Armory, but plans to move closed to Spoke soon.
“I’ve really just fallen in love with Davis Square,” Foster said. And with her new venture, it’s almost assured that Davis Square will soon be loving her back.
Spoke Wine Bar
89 Holland St.
Opening December 2012