INDIANAPOLIS — Inside a historic building, just steps off Delaware Street in downtown Indianapolis, a company with a new concept makes its home.
Storied Company is a unique tasting bar and retail space unlike anything in the area.
"This is something that is totally unique," said manager Denis Lynch. "I'm from Cork in Ireland and I managed bars and restaurants over there and retail but never anything like this."
Lynch is joined by fellow manager and Englishman Simon O'Grady, who is also a wine and spirits connoisseur.
"From about 1990 onward, I've been interested in, enthusiastic about all kinds of quality wines, spirits, beer, foods, etc," O'Grady said.
What makes Storied Company different from a traditional tavern, is it is not a space to come in and order a cocktail or a beer, or even a glass of wine.
There is one thing you can order at the tasting bar and that is their sampling, which is always $10 no matter what you sample.
They also have spirits and wines available for carryout purchase like a retail store.
"So what we like to do here is taste people on new products, things they may never have tried," Lynch said. "Get people to maybe step outside of their comfort zone."
Lynch and O'Grady said the $10 fee for five samples is a nominal fee for the opportunity to sample spirits and wines no mater the price of the bottle, unlike at a traditional bar or restaurant where a pour of a spirit can run $10-30 or more for an ounce.
They say they hope people challenge their own prejudices and opinions and try something new, or try something they think they don't like because tastes can change and different spirits and wines are so unique.
"Perhaps learn a little bit more, perhaps expand horizons," O'Grady said. "It's an opportunity for us to have a conversation."
And the conversation goes from both sides of the bar.
O'Grady said they want to learn about you and if you like what you are sampling and why or why not. Then they too can share more about the product.
Storied Company focuses on the stories behind the spirits and wines.
It's a place with the taste, texture and flavor profiles of a Cabernet are just as important as learning about the region the grapes were grown, the methods used and the producers who make them.
They especially work to line their store shelves with unique products from family-owned producers that you won't see in other places.
"We promote small independent producers in wines and spirits, family-owned and ya know smaller producers who typically don't get maybe a look in within the big portfolios," Lynch said. "And really kind of focus on telling the stories and the people who make the products."
Storied company opened its doors inside the old Rebar building in June of 2021, but opening during a pandemic hasn't been their biggest challenge to staying in business.
The construction, however, has posed its share of headaches.
"Ah it's been a challenge," Lynch said. "It's been a challenge for sure!"
Delaware Street in front of their door has been under construction for some time and the traffic jams and lack of parking on site pose a hurdle for visitors.
But O'Grady says they have survived thanks to loyal customers who often times travel from out of state to do a tasting and purchase bottles from their retail space.
"This is a business that really will build by word of mouth," O'Grady said. "And as people come in and get excited, they will tell other people. And I feel that we are in the beginning stages of this really starting to grow."
Right now, Storied Company is not open seven days a week. They are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and by appointment. They hope to expand more in the new year, offering more private educational events in their upstairs loft area.
O'Grady said one other way they have stayed in business and grown is through their email list.
They send out weekly emails about products they have tasted and think are outstanding at a fair price and customers can purchase bottles and come pick them up at the storefront.
He says that typically those bottles sell out within hours of sending the email because they only keep a smaller supply of each product.
If you would like to connect with Storied Company, visit their website, www.storiedcompany.com. They're open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.
You can also follow them on social media, and email them at firstname.lastname@example.org