Wine shop, tasting bar opening in downtown Cary to replace Gather

Gather, in downtown Cary on West Chatham Street, has closed. The Chatham Street Wine Market will move in its place by the end of October 2015.
Gather, in downtown Cary on West Chatham Street, has closed. The Chatham Street Wine Market will move in its place by the end of October 2015.

Just a week after Gather – a coffee shop, gift store and co-working space – left its space on West Chatham Street, the space’s new tenant began work on a wine shop.

Owner and Cary resident Doug Gambardella plans to open Chatham Street Wine Market, a boutique wine shop and tasting bar, in late October. The store at 111 W. Chatham St. will stock wines from all over the world with a focus on smaller production, family-owned wines at reasonable prices.

“We’re kind of hoping to have the real friendly neighborhood vibe to it,” he said. “(We are going to) try and bring stuff that you don’t see all the time to the shelves.”

The new business will open almost a month after Gather closed its doors. Gather has been in downtown Cary for two years, but Owner Michelle Smith is moving her studio to downtown Raleigh.

Chatham Street Wine Market will feature a tasting bar, free weekly wine tastings and monthly food and wine events.

Gambardella said he believes the wine selection and special events will help set his business apart from similar wine-focused ventures, such as nearby Chatham Hill Winery on Chapel Hill Road.

“(We are) trying to make wine really accessible and trying to make you feel like it’s a part of your everyday food and drink,” he said. “I hope, especially with the different events, we’ll always have something new to try and introduce people to.”

Gambardella, a New York native, has nearly 10 years of experience in the wine industry. He moved to the area more than two years ago with his wife, Bonnie, who grew up in the area.

“We love the area,” Gambardella said. “We love being able to walk downtown, and I think it is really growing into something special. So when the space became available, we felt like we couldn’t really pass up the opportunity.”

Since he moved to Cary, Gambardella said he has seen downtown grow and is pleased with the change he has witnessed.

“We think it is great and can’t wait to see more things happening, especially with the park and the (Maynard) hotel and the (Bond Brothers) brewery coming in,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a really vibrant little area.”

Ted Boyd, the town’s downtown development manager, said he’s looking forward to Chatham Street Wine Market moving into the former Gather space.

“I’m always sad to see a business go but excited to see another one filled so quickly,” he said. “There’s a lot of activity downtown, but a lot of it has been lately centered around (The Cary) theater, and I think this will kind of balance that activity.”

The Cary is on East Chatham Street next to Pharmacy Bottle and Beverage and Crosstown Pub, which have opened in the past year.

Boyd said the monthly food and wine events would provide opportunities for the market to collaborate with other downtown businesses such as Chocolate Smiles on West Chatham Street.

“There’s just a lot of ways that they might be able to partner with the existing restaurants that are in downtown,” he said.

In preparation for the opening, Gambardella said tables, shelves and a small tasting area would need to be added.

“We are trying to get it open with as little muss and fuss as possible,” he said.

But in the long term, Gambardella has much bigger plans. Now the shop has some office areas in the back that were used as co-working space.

“We’d like to open the space up a bit,” he said.

Kathryn Trogdon; 919-460-2608; @KTrogdon