Unplugged: New, intimate wine bar downtown

2013-09-19T00:00:00Z 2014-07-03T10:29:24Z Unplugged: New, intimate wine bar downtownBy Gerald M. Gay Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A new wine bar is set to open downtown this Saturday courtesy of the minds behind the Wine Depot on East Grant Road.

Dubbed Unplugged, the new spot, at 118 E. Congress St. across from Zen Rock, will feature a selection of reds and whites from around the world, with 15 wines by the glass and 50 wines by the bottle available at any given time.

The bar will have panini, salad and cheese plate options. Some beer selections and high-end cocktails also will be available.

Manager Cyler Varnum said the focus will be primarily on its wine offerings.

“There are good wines made from every grape from every country in the world,” Varnum said. “We plan to showcase that diversity.”

Varnum, along with Depot owners Frank and Bessie Lietzau, became interested in opening a space downtown after seeing the amount of growth in the area.

“There is this new vibrancy,” said Varnum, who also lives downtown. “There is such a sense of core and culture being down there.”

The Wine Depot will remain open on a limited basis, maybe once a week or once a month. It celebrated its fourth anniversary as a retail space in April.

Varnum, who served as the Depot’s manager, said they needed to put all eyes on the new venture.

“It has been distracting,” he said. “We can’t put in the time that is necessary without closing the other location.”

The Wine Depot will tentatively be used for storage for Unplugged. At 650 square feet, the downtown space is intimate. It previously served as the accounting room for Morrison, Ekre & Bart Management Services.

Wines will be priced $7-$12 per glass and will come from all over.

“We are going to start bringing in wines from California that are unlike anything else,” Varnum said.

Unplugged will be open seven days a week, 4 p.m.-midnight Sundays-Wednesdays and 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Follow the wine bar at facebook.com/unpluggedtucson online.

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at ggay@azstarnet.com or 807-8430.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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