Urban Wren opened March 5 in the adaptive reuse project Markley Station, two blocks from Fluor Field at 116 N. Markley St., Suite 102.
This completes the food and beverage components in the development that also includes Hoppin’, a taproom concept from Charlotte, and Todaro Pizza, based in Clemson. All three open on to a central plaza that will feature live music throughout the warmer months.
The wine-centric restaurant, owned and operated by the Lincoln family, evolved from the original idea Nick Lincoln, executive director, had to make wine in an urban environment.
While that is still the plan, eventually, the wine fermentation and barrel room will be his playground, rather than a central part of the concept at this point, his wife and events and marketing manager, Haleigh Lincoln, said.
Grapes and juice will be sourced, initially, from domestic vineyards, and Nick Lincoln will go to work creating Urban Wren’s first wine. That likely won’t happen until the restaurant is solidly operating.
Advanced sommelier and general manager Eric Cooperman is leading the wine program that includes 45 by-the-glass options and a 3,000-bottle wine cellar. In order to appeal to more than the wine connoisseur, the beverage program also includes cocktails using a variety of base spirits.
The culinary program, designed with a shared-plate approach, is led by executive chef Taylor Montgomery. Along with more than a dozen small plates and traditional entrees, a prix-fixe chef’s table tasting menu will be available nightly. The menu features an array of global flavors while using as many locally sourced products as possible.
The space includes various seating vignettes, including the Chef’s Table overlooking the kitchen, the dining room, a central bar and a fireside nook.
Upstairs from the 6,000-square-foot ground level, The Loft event space with its own separate entrance holds up to 160 seated guests and includes a private bar. Additionally, the Urban Wren Market near the downstairs entrance will have a selection of take-away items, including house made charcuterie, bottles of wine and local products.
Hours of operation are Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 4–10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 4–11 p.m.; and closed Tuesday.