In the Red Wine Bar, at 6510 Phinney Ave. N., is changing name and concept at the end of this month. Starting after Thanksgiving weekend, it will be called The Whit’s End and will be a neighborhood bar with pool table, darts, pinball and possibly shuffleboard, plus TVs for watching sports, owner Chad Campbell said.
After six years as a wine bar, Campbell said it was time to change his business plan.
“I just felt like a wine bar was a difficult road to hoe. I had a good location, I like my neighborhood, I like my space, I just needed a different business plan. I decided I’m going to be just a regular old neighborhood ‘bar’ bar,” he said. However, it will remain family friendly.
The new name, The Whit’s End, is a play on his middle name of Whitson and the phrase “wit’s end.”
The Whit’s End has a full spirits license and will serve 10 or 12 beers, several wines, and traditional bar food like hamburgers, nachos, pizza, and mac-and-cheese. One thing that will be different, however, will be each Wednesday nights’ serving of the traditional Swiss raclette by Dave Pyle and Beth Ringland of Fire and Scrape, a popular offering at the Fremont Sunday Market.
With traditional raclette (which dates to Medieval times), you set a large, 14-pound wheel of cheese in front of a fire; as the cheese melts you scrape it off and put on bread, vegetables or meat. The modern day version for home uses small a tabletop grill. However, at The Whit’s End, Fire and Scrape will use a special grill imported from Switzerland and will bring the bubbling hot wheel of cheese to each table to scrape onto diners’ plates.
“In Europe this has really become an art form,” Pyle said. “Fire and Scrape’s motto is ‘Beautiful cheese, beautifully fired.’ It’s food theater.”
In the Red Wine Bar will be open as usual the next few days, but will close on Sunday for minor renovations. Campbell plans to reopen after Thanksgiving weekend. They’ll begin serving raclette a few weeks later.