A different type of bar will be opening its doors in Downtown Washington at the end of March.
St. Charles-based Olivino Tasting Bar is expanding its olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar to 120 W. Main St. in Washington next month.
The bar will offer customers a chance to try premium olive oil and balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, Italy, in different recipes before they buy it.
Owner Debbie Baker-Oliver, who lives in Washington, said she’s excited about opening a second location in Downtown Washington.
“Our model is something that will go over well in Washington,” she said. “It will be an experience. There’s a lot of opportunity for us and I think folks will enjoy something a little bit different.”
Baker-Oliver said her store motto is “taste before you buy.” She said the ultra-premium extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars Olivino she has in stock are used in small snacks the tasting bar offers throughout the week as taste-testers for customers.
“Different days of the week we make something with the product and we offer a small bite,” she said. “People taste them and say ‘Wow, I never knew you could put olive oil in brownies,’ for example.”
One of the tasting bar’s goals is to show customers different ways olive oil and balsamic vinegar can be used in recipes. The shop will share recipes on-location and on its website www.olivinotastingbar.com.
“We try to show our customers olive oil isn’t just for salad dressing,” she said. “It’s for everything you can imagine like baking, making mixed drinks, on top of your ice cream, your marinades and so on.”
Olivino’s also will offer wines from Noboleis Vineyard, Augusta, and carry gourmet food items and gifts from local vendors, along with specialty items such as rubs, salts, seasonings, olives, pasta and a variety of unique serving dishes.
Baker-Oliver said her weekly Sunday “Brunch in a Cup,” where customers can build their own bloody mary bar has been popular.
The new location will be much bigger than the St. Charles location, she noted, making events easier to host.
Baker-Oliver said she’s excited to bring her business to Washington. She also plans to serve wine from her vineyard, Triple 3 Vineyard, in the near future.