One of Fort Worth’s first boutique wine bars will not reopen once the COVID-19 shutdown ends. WineHaus, the cozy Park Place Avenue neighborhood retreat for small batch wines and several wines on tap, will close its doors for good at the end of the month, says owner Lindsey Kohn.
“We are heartbroken to close WineHaus after seven years,” says Kohn, who lived in the building’s upstairs apartment with her dog Harpo when she first opened the business in 2013.
WineHaus was able to survive a roof collapse after a major storm in 2014, but couldn’t survive an ongoing pandemic in which bars have been required to close for onsite consumption for weeks now.
“From the beginning of the first shutdown, the idea of having to close the business existed, but it was a nightmare scenario we truly thought we’d be able to avoid,” says Kohn. “Once we were able to reopen after the first closure, even at limited capacity, we were hopeful.”
Kohn and her team took the opportunity to add stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols and implemented a reservation system, aiming to keep customers as safe as possible while hoping to stay afloat.
“We were greeted with wonderful customers who were very happy to see our new practices and felt safe stopping by for a glass of wine,” Kohn says.
But when Gov. Abbott suddenly threw down a second round of closures in late June, which included bars, breweries and taprooms, Kohn knew her nightmare was about to become a reality, she says.
“We struggled to see how our business could survive without any on-premise activity,” she says. “We waited several weeks for an update, but have yet to see a glimmer of hope as to when we could reopen.”
Even with curbside pickup, which some customers utilized often, the business lost was too great and costs were not offset. Kohn says the majority of her guests prefer to sit inside and make selections in person.
In the seven years since it opened, WineHaus has become a favorite Fairmount neighborhood gathering place. Groups of girlfriends would meet up for a few bottles after work, and couples would cozy up by the fireplace for a romantic night out.
It was also one of the prettiest bars in town. Housed in an historic building, it had a wrought iron front door and window sheers to keep the interior private. It was filled with Old World-style furnishings, two levels of seating (the upstairs space was often booked for private events), and a quaint, string-lit patio shaded by a few trees.
WineHaus was known for stocking limited-production wines made by independent producers from obscure regions around the world — nothing mass-produced here. About 19 wines were on tap, too, providing for a fun way to try unique varietals. Food could be ordered from Chadra Mezza & Grill next door.
Kohn moved two years ago to Sonoma County, California, but still managed WineHaus with regular trips to Fort Worth and with the help of full-time employee Monica Wright.
“While my trips to Fort Worth may be less frequent in the future, I still look forward to spending time with my family, friends and fellow oenophiles,” Kohn says, adding that “new adventures” are on the horizon.
WineHaus remains open through the end of August for curbside pickup from 3-8 pm Tuesday through Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday.