By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Luscious wines, intriguing beers, and live music The Bohemian Wine Bar and Pub, owned by Sara and Ken Beamish, is the newest hot spot in downtown Delano.
The public is encouraged to stop by for the pub’s grand opening, Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20.
“It’s a nice place for people to come and relax, a place to de-stress,” Ken said.
“We love inviting people to our house, and we thought it’d be neat to have that atmosphere at our business,” Sara added.
Beamishes’ passion for wineries and breweries began with a date at the Bohemian Bed and Breakfast in New Ulm, which was owned by Sara’s aunt. While in New Ulm, Sara and Ken shared their first bottle of wine from Morgan Creek Winery, and toured Schell’s Brewery.
The excursion turned into a hobby, and as of today, the couple has visited 300 wineries and breweries.
Tragically, the Bohemian Bed and Breakfast burned down in 2011, claiming the lives of six people, including Sara’s aunt and two cousins.
“After that, I started thinking about what I want my life to be like,” Sara recalled.
Nine months ago, she told Ken her idea to open a wine bar and pub in Delano.
“I thought it would be more of a long-term plan, like three or four years from now. But, when I have an idea, [Ken] just runs with it,” Sara said.
Ken immediately checked out a few potential locations in town, and by the end of December, they had purchased their 6,000-square-foot building, located at 221 2nd St. N., across the street from city hall. Since that time, they’ve completely remodeled the front half, including new heating and plumbing.
The main dining area features plenty of seating, and a separate lounge area is available for meetings and private gatherings.
By fall, Ken and Sara plan to have the back of the building remodeled, transforming it into a 3,000-square-foot reception hall. The space will seat about 270 people with tables, or about 400 with a convention-style arrangement.
The renovation will also include two new bathrooms, a second bar area, a large outdoor patio with heated concrete, and three fire pits.
“It’ll be a fun place,” Sara said.
Relax and refresh
Visitors to The Bohemian Wine Bar and Pub can enjoy salads, chips, bread and cheese, chocolate-dipped strawberries, cake, and other tasty snacks, accompanied by an array of wines from around the world, and beers exclusively from Minnesota.
For those who’d like to sample more than one variety, flights of beer and wine are also available.
“When people come in, we start by asking, ‘Red or white? Dry or sweet?’” Ken said. “From there, they can taste different kinds and see what they like.”
According to Ken, Minnesota has 29 micro-breweries, each producing five to 25 varieties of beer.
“It’s fun showing people all the different types of beer out there,” Ken said, recalling one customer who wasn’t a beer drinker, and instead preferred coffee. Ken had him try a coffee stout beer, which was a perfect fit.
About 40 types of wine are currently available at The Bohemian, as well. Many are from overseas and other areas of the US, but some are produced in Minnesota. The Beamishes said wine drinkers may be surprised at the local quality.
“Minnesota grapes are still being developed, and they’re becoming more complex,” Ken said. “It’s really neat to surprise people.”
“We like to get customers to experiment, to get outside their safe zone,” Sara added.
Beer and wine for life
One fun way to test beverages at The Bohemian is to join the “Beer for Life” or “Wine for Life” programs.
With “Beer for Life,” members can drink all the beer they want for the life of the business. With “Wine for Life,” the first glass of wine each visit is free.
The cost is $1,000, and each program has space for 30 people.
“The money will be used as starting capital for phase II,” Sara said, referring to the reception hall renovation. “It gives people an opportunity to invest in a growing business. People are already signing up.”
The Bohemian is open Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Lunch will be available Mondays and Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
To learn more, call (952) 261-3053.