Irishman opens wine shop in Bird Rock

Ken Chalmers, owner of Bird Rock Fine Wine, doesn’t organize his wine by price because he said everything is “hand sold.”
Ken Chalmers, owner of Bird Rock Fine Wine, doesn’t organize his wine by price because he said everything is “hand sold.”
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Ken Chalmers, owner of Bird Rock Fine Wine, doesn’t organize his wine by price because he said everything is “hand sold.”

BY SHELLI DEROBERTIS

Bird Rock Fine Wine, 5687 La Jolla Blvd., uncorked its first bottle on Aug. 8 when the store opened its doors with a winetasting event.

Owner Ken Chalmers said the city’s complicated permitting process cost him two-years before he could finally open, but the wait is over for the native of Northern Ireland who chose La Jolla as the place to fulfill a dream.

“I’ve wanted to open a wine shop for 15 years,” Chalmers said.

The 850-square-feet of retail space houses 450 bottles of wine from California, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Europe, France, Spain, Germany and Israel, along with a selection of sweet wines.

A small area at entrance is designated for wine tasting for up to 10 people. Pours range from $2 to $10, Chalmers said.

Wines start at $7 a bottle for Vina Cerrada, 2010, Tempranillo from Spain; and go to as high as $300 for a bottle of Salon Champagne, 1999 vintage.

Chalmers said his personal favorite is a Bordeaux wine from France, and another good French wine for the value is a Rhone wine that sells for $20 or less a bottle.

Bird Rock Fine Wine has prices that compare with sales on wine at major grocery stores, but Chalmers said his wines won’t go on sale because the discount is already reflected in their prices.

The bottom shelves aren’t just for the inexpensive wines, either. “Everything I sell is pretty much going to be hand sold, so it doesn’t matter where it is,” he said.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays-Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 7: 30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Tastings are 3:30-7:30 p.m.

Thursday-Saturday. (858) 539-5632.

New Businesses coming:

INDIAN RESTAURANT:

A sign heralding the arrival of the Tandoori Chef, was recently placed on the boarded-up building at Pearl and Cuvier Streets. The restaurant is expected to begin serving guests by the end of August.

OHANA CAFÉ:

A new family café will bring Hawaiian cuisine to 456 Pearl St. when Ohana Café opens for business. Renovations are underway to add a kitchen to the storefront eatery.

• Business moves out: Indo Teak Design closed its showroom doors at 5663 La Jolla Blvd. on June 1 when the lease expired. The business relocated to a warehouse at 7170 Miramar Road, Suite 700, where the custom wood manufacturer and distributor will continue to offer the same flooring.

   
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