Just when you thought downtown Huntsville couldn’t get any more exciting, Church Street Wine Shoppe on Gates has arrived. The restaurant and wine shop is an expansion of the original location, which opened on Church Street in 2014. Both wine shops, the restaurant Purveyor, the speakeasy Catacomb 435, and the upcoming urban oyster bar Sea Salt are all part of the Church Street Family - created by the dynamite duo Stephanie Kennedy-Mell and Matthew Mell.
Church Street Wine Shoppe on Gates is located in the historic Humphreys-Rogers House. The house was built in 1848 and, through the years, has seen expansions, renovations and the threat of demolition-twice. It was the home to politicians, and at one point, it even housed a Coca-Cola museum. Finally, the building was purchased by Constitution Village and relocated to its current location a block from the museum. It remained empty until the Wine Shoppe on Gates arrived.
The house needed renovations to accommodate modern patrons and safety protocols. Still, Stephanie and Matt made sure to leave vintage touches, such as the ornate door hinges and tiled fireplaces. But they also added their own twists, such as a wooden church on the banister and the sign hanging outside. Both were created by artist Anthony Vizzini at Wood and Plane.
Depending on what kind of experience you’re looking for, there are different seating options. You might want to sit on the beautiful covered porch, which is tucked under a row of trees—the perfect place for a glass of chilled wine and charcuterie board. Or you might want to go to the Barbara Anne Room named after Matt’s mother. It is a teal room, with a shiny white tiled fireplace and large windows. The ambiance is demure, with wildflowers and delicate place settings on each table and fresh hydrangea on the mantle. On the back wall is a majestic painting of grazing cows by artist Leslie Lockhart.
If you are looking for some spicier ambiance, make a right at the staircase to the deep red room to the right, known as The Bar. Over the long white bar hang prohibition-styled light fixtures and over the fireplace is a painting by artist Carole Forêt. The painting depicts the hands of a server holding a bottle of Greenock Estates wine. The Greenock Estate winery is in South Australia’s premier wine region, the Barossa Valley. It is an exceptional wine, and for the first time ever, it will be sold in the United States, thanks to the Wine Shoppe on Gates.
The restaurant serves tapas and elevated Italian cuisine. The menu was created by The Church Street Family’s Executive Chef Kannon Swaris. It includes Tuna Tataki, Lamb Kofta, and Miso Cucumber Salad and decadent cheese and charcuterie boards. The restaurant is run by Executive Sous Chef Marely Campos.
Though Church Street Wine Shoppe on Gates accepts walk-ins, it is highly recommended to make a reservation. For more information, visit churchstreetwineshoppe.com.