Imagine a cozy place where you could drink a glass of wine, taste gourmet food, listen to live music, AND shop for trendy decor and gifts. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that place exists and it’s called The Wine Nest. This local Lubbock wine bar and shop is full of warmth and charm thanks to owners Jimmy and and Christi Henderson.
Since The Wine Nest first opened in 2013, Christi has worked hard to make this a place that fits their customers’ wants and needs. “We’ve changed this business three times since we first opened. The first year we opened, we had lots of decor and lots of wine. It was a retail store only at that point. You could buy gift baskets and wine, but you could not drink in the store. The largest complaint we had from our customer base was not being able to drink in the store. So after a year, we changed our license to a winery so that people could drink in the store. And then, after another three years, we had complaints from people about not being able to eat in the store. So once our five-year lease was up, we decided to expand, double our size, and add a restaurant. So now you can eat AND drink in the store, and we still have retail. I don’t know if we’re insanely crazy or if we just love what we do...I think it’s a little bit of both,” says Christi.
The comfy atmosphere at The Wine Nest comes from Christi’s personal love for comfort. “Prior to opening our store, we were in Fredericksburg doing some business planning, and we were eating at a place called The Nest. My husband makes fun of me because I’m a nester– I like everything to be homey and comfortable. So while we were in this restaurant, he said ‘you know, you should name your store The Wine Nest.’ I thought it was brilliant. So that’s where the name from,” says Christi.
In addition to being a cozy spot, The Wine Nest is also known as the spot where people walk in and feel like they belong. “Our customers have called The Wine Nest the ‘Cheers’ of Lubbock. It’s the place where everyone knows your name. 90 percent of our customers are repeat, or regular, customers. The customers come in and they feel like they know our wait staff and me and Jimmy. We know what they drink, we know what they like, and if we don’t know yet, then we try to get to know that as soon as we can,” explains Christi.
As well as The Wine Nest knows their customers, they also know a ton about good wine. They sell wines from all over the world, as well as locally-produced wines. “Every single thing in the store I have tried or eaten, otherwise I won’t bring it in the store. I feel that I can’t sell something I’m not familiar with, or that I don’t like. If I try a wine and I love it, I try to look at the value over the cost. I look more at boutique wines, and not the wines you might find in the grocery store. We do the same thing with food. From the foods in the gift baskets we sell to the food on our menu, we sell locally-sourced foods as much as possible and items that you can’t find everywhere else,” says Christi.
She also has a knack for helping people who aren’t sure about which wines they might like. “If you like alcohol, then typically we can find a wine that you’ll like. If you aren’t a wine lover yet, based on what liquors or drinks you enjoy, we can help move you into a wine,” says Christi.
Christi not only cares about helping her customers find the products they’ll like, but she also has a heart for creating a space where people can come together, feel like a family, and even make some special memories.
“We’ve had three engagements take place in our store, we’ve had a wedding in the store, and we’ve had numerous showers, and birthday parties. It truly is like a very large family. We’ve hosted Christmas parties and we’re also having a 75th birthday party here next week. We have special events happening here all the time,” says Christi.
Some of the other events at The Wine Nest include wine dinners, a Girl Scout cookie pairing event in January, a “Wine Down Rub Down” where they’ll have wine, chair massages, snacks, and giveaways, and several other events focused around wine. The Wine Nest also has live music every weekend. “It seems like we’re always doing something, in a good way! We really enjoy these events,” says Christi.
While the events are a fun way to get people out to the store and to provide a lively experience, they are also a way of creating that extra level of community. It’s that same sense of community that you can really only get when you shop local.
“Local is pretty much everything. In fact, ‘shop small and shop local’ is one of my mottos. We try to get things locally as much as we can from the food to the products to the wine. I just think small business is so important to keep money in the area and promote community and growth. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with huge chains, because sometimes there is a need for those businesses as well. But, I remember about ten years ago when people were griping that we didn’t have very many good, small businesses here, but now we really do. So, now’s the time to support those local restaurants and stores. I think we should go to those local places first and try to support them. That doesn’t mean you’ll always find what you need, but we should at least start at the local shops before going to the big chains,” says Christi.
We couldn’t agree more. Local shops like The Wine Nest make buying local an easy choice. You can find The Wine Nest, and other spectacular Lubbock shops and services on Towny– the free app that provides perks and brings the joy of shopping local straight to your phone.