One of the River Arts District’s beloved bars, Bottle Riot (formerly known as District Wine Bar) is turning lemons into lemonade with a new name and a new outlook. “The name change was inspired by necessity due to a legal dispute that was emotionally exhausting and too costly for our small business to fight,” says owner Lauri Nichols. “Rather than live the negative, we took the opportunity to reinvent the business. We kept the best parts of District Wine Bar, enhanced our menu, increased our European beer selection and upped our retail-to-go offerings. The result was Bottle Riot.”
Nichols says the new name is even better suited to her business. “We feel the name Bottle Riot is a great fit for the area and better represents the personality of our business,” she says. Nichols’ choice to open her wine bar in the RAD was very intentional. She knew her unorthodox approach to wine—as a fun adventure rather than a pretentious experience—would be welcome in Asheville’s gritty, edgy arts corner.
With the new name comes new menu items, including a traditional Cuban sandwich, a New Orleans muffuletta and a Vietnamese Bánh mì sandwich. The wine list is also expanding, with “rare, geeky and fun” additions in both bottles and glass pours. “All of this with a continued focus on sustainability, minimal intervention, biodynamic and small production wines,” says Nichols. Bottle Riot will also have a full calendar of tastings, guest chef pop-ups, wine dinners, art exhibits, nonprofit fundraisers and themed events. “We’re energized and ready to rock,” says Nichols.
Bottle Riot is located at 37 Paynes Way #009 in Asheville. For more information, visit BottleRiot.com.