I have been giving some thought to what makes a neighbourhood amazing. What things does a community need to make its residents feel proud of where they live?
I admit, my philosophical questions are directly influenced from the strong urban planning bent of my favourite print magazine, Monocle. Monocle’s July/August issue did a great job discussing this topic and even put forth a hand picked fictitious neighbourhood containing the best services, stores and restaurants from around the world. I think a large portion of creating a welcoming street vibe comes down to having an optimal retail and service mix (not too many chain stores and lots of interesting local businesses) plus green space and landscaping. People are on the street from morning till night in my neighbourhood because there are things to keep people engaged.
One business that just made my neighbourhood a little bit cooler is a wine bar named Veltlin. Every community needs one of these: An adorable, themed, wine bar with fabulous furniture, modern lighting and a beautifully illustrated mural. Fortunately for me, one such wine bar opened in my neighbourhood within the past two months. The business name Veltlin, comes from an important grape in the Central European wine growing region: the Gruner Veltliner, a white grape that is grown in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
Veltlin is a wine bar that is themed on the wine regions from the former Hapsburg empire in Central Europe. I have been to Veltlin several times since it opened and each time, the chatty staff were happy to help me navigate the regional wines by the glass or by the bottle. I watched this place like a hawk while it was under renovation (pre-opening). I could tell it was going to be something cool when I saw the mural, wall paper and lights go up. The mural, as the owner explained to me, was illustrated by a local artist and is a map of the Hapsburg empire. You then have smaller vignettes on the wallpaper around the bar that give the joint a modern feel. Another interesting aspect that I appreciated was the actual bar: it is a plexiglass case made up of various soils from around the wine growing regions Veltlin carries.
This is a great little spot to stop in for a glass of wine when the evenings are hots. They also serve small snacks, which I haven’t tried yet but will report back when I do. I noticed there is another retail slot being renovated across the street from Veltlin and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a bakery or green grocery- two things Karlin is missing.
Veltlin’s Facebook Page: here
Veltlin’s Website/E-commerce: here