"Hip in Hampden" is how the new 13.5% wine bar bills itself on its website. And I have to agree. It definitely adds a sophisticated element to the other restaurants and bars along The Avenue.
I talked to general manager Peter Keck, who’s been busy handling operations at 13.5%, which opened to the public on Friday (July 10). He said the sleek space has been pummeled with business. "It’s almost been too much of a good thing," he said, laughing.
I can understand the attraction. The wine bar (whose name refers to the average alcohol content of a balanced wine) offers small plates, paninis, and salads, all for under $10. It's open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
It also has 36-40 wines by the glass, starting at $5. In this economy, this is a deal. Of course, if you’re feeling flush, you can also try a pricier vino for $22 a glass!
The wine bar is also building a 200-bottle wine wall, where you can buy a bottle to go or pay an $8 corkage fee to enjoy it at the swanky tables or bar. There are also beer and cocktails if you’d prefer.
Keck and owner Wayne Laing, former owner of the Wine Underground store, seem to know their stuff.