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Stone Mill launches new wine bar

A NEW WINE bar tucked into the shops at the Stone Mill on Mill Street in Middlebury offers a cozy place to meet and hang out with friends and have a drink on Thursdays through Saturdays. It is a joint project with Dedalus Wines, which has a couple retail stalls in the space. Independent photo/John S. McCright

MIDDLEBURY — The Stone Mill’s partnership with Dedalus is aging like fine wine. 

In fact, the association is going so well that Stone Mill owners Stacey Rainey and Mary Cullinane have just installed a new wine bar in the historic building at 3 Mill St. It’s a new amenity that Rainey and Cullinane believe will enhance customers’ appreciation of Dedalus’s wine products and afford a cozy space for people to socialize and/or celebrate special occasions with stemware in hand.

“Mary and I are always fascinated by the evolution of this building and the many things that have been housed here over the past 180 years. We see this as ‘the next step,’” Rainey said of the wine bar.

It’s open Thursday through Saturday, 3-8 p.m., and can be secured for special events. Go to stonemillvt.com for details and contact information. 

Dedalus Wine had already occupied two vendor stalls in the Stone Mill. The company retains that space and has essentially doubled its footprint, with the adjacent wine bar space that will allow Dedalus to further showcase and serve (by the glass) a wide array of wines. Marlaina Rowell is Dedalus’s point person at the new Stone Mill space.

It’s in a spot formerly occupied by Lost Monarch Coffee. That coffee shop closed and pulled out of the Stone Mill around a year ago, though its founders — Matt and Alessandra Delia-Lôbo — continue to operate Royal Oak Coffee at 30 Seymour St.

A tour of the Stone Mill wine bar last week showed the change in décor, with new furniture, paint, lighting, wall coverings and curtains. The natural wood fabrication exudes the warmth and intimacy that Cullinane and Stacey believe will make the wine bar a go-to venue for folks of all walks of life.

They acknowledged valuable design input from Bethanie Farrell of the Giving Fridge.

“We tried to create a much different vibe,” Cullinane said. “(Farrell) helped us with the lighting and the plants we have here. It’s an example of a great local organization we’ve been able to work with to bring this place alive.”

Rainey continues to marvel at the evolution of the spot from its former coffee shop ambiance.

“There’s a whole new feeling in here,” she said. “People walk in and say, ‘Wow, when did this happen?’”

Cullinane and Rainey could have had many suitors for the former Royal Oak space but were sold on the idea of expanding Dedalus’s presence in the building. Cullinane cited Dedalus’s commitment to quality, focusing on small producers with low intervention in grape production.

“To partner with the best of Vermont to do this, we couldn’t imagine a different solution,” she said.

Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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