On Zandukeli Street in Tbilisi, Sulico Wine Bar stands out as a beacon for those who relish in an extensive range of wine offerings paired with delicacies imbued with Georgian nuances. Since its inception in 2019, both locals and foreigners have been drawn to its unique ambiance.
The Genesis of Sulico Wine Bar
In 2018, a simple glimpse of a vacant space sparked an idea. "It wasn't initially a vision of a wine bar," reminisces the owner. The neighboring restaurants, Sushiko and Mexico, unwittingly lent a piece to the puzzle. The amalgamation of their names birthed "Sulico." With the space and name in place, the next challenge was establishing a concept. When it came to curating the perfect menu, the hunt for a chef capable of synergizing wine with food was arduous. In an unexpected turn, the owner stepped into the role of brand chef.
A Melting Pot of Cultures
Having resided in the U.S. for 18 years, the owner Baia Tsaava longed for the multicultural exchanges that once surrounded him. "The aim was to craft a haven where foreigners felt the warmth of home," she explains. This desire is reflected in the bar's atmosphere, which exudes an aura of congeniality.
Overcoming Initial Hurdles
Launching Sulico Wine Bar was not without its challenges. "Being a novice in this sector, navigating my role as a brand chef in Georgia was intricate," she confesses. From sourcing ingredients to hiring adept culinary professionals, each step was a learning curve. Yet, when it came to front-of-house roles, the vibrant, bilingual youth of Georgia filled the void seamlessly.
A Palette of Experiences
While Sulico champions Georgian wine, it's not restricted to it. Collaborations with their sommelier yield pairings that showcase the harmony between wine and culinary creations. The dishes, though innovative, resonate with Georgian undertones. "We've exclusively showcased Georgian wine for years. However, to offer locals a glimpse into foreign viticulture, we're introducing wines from South Africa, Argentina, and France," says the owner.
A Resounding Acclaim
Visitors often find themselves enamored by the ambiance, further enriched by soulful jazz. "Once they step in, they keep coming back. Many have been with us since our doors opened," she beams with pride. Conversations drift towards the lore of wine rather than its technicalities. International patrons especially find a slice of home at Sulico. Word-of-mouth recommendations have naturally amplified its reputation, negating the need for aggressive marketing.
Looking Beyond the Horizon
Intriguing expansion prospects lie ahead for Suliko, with potential ventures in Europe, and even the Big Apple. "While I'm intrinsically tethered to Sulico Wine Bar, the thought of branching out is tempting," the owner muses. However, one thing remains certain: the Suliko name will continue to shine, even beyond Georgian borders. Within Georgia, the aspiration is to further captivate their clientele with unique offerings, like movie nights.
As Sulico's tale unfolds, it's evident that this wine bar is not merely a place but an experience, blending the heart of Georgia with global flavors.