Trend alert: hip coffee and wine bars in clothing stores might be King Street’s new froyo. Last year we were tracking celeb chef Hugh Acheson’s now nixed plans to open a cafe in King Street’s Club Monaco. Now we’ve learned that Old Village wine shop, Rudi’s Caffe e Vino is expanding, opening a new location above forthcoming clothier Skinny Dip Charleston in the old Boone’s Bar.
Rudi’s is the work of Annie and Rudi Barbieri. The couple opened their first wine bar on Pitt Street in Mt. Pleasant in December. Now, they’ve joined forces with the Nantucket based retailer Skinny Dip to renovate the upstairs of 345 King St. into a place to relax and sip prosecco mid-shopping spree.
“Our concept is wine and great coffee and charcuterie,” says Annie. “We’ll have a large cafe and bar with an outdoor seating area. It’ll feel like a garden.”
And the wine will have a heavy Italian influence. Rudi is from Italy and sources many of his wines from friends back home.
Making a long story short, Annie explains that the couple, who were both working in jewelry at the time, originally met in India. “I’ve always lived on Sullivan’s Island and so when we moved back here, we needed something for him to do. Rudi has lived in food and wine his whole life. His family and friends have vineyards. So we wanted to find a platform for those beautiful table wines that don’t have recognition in the U.S. So many are overpriced. We felt there was a niche market for that boutique table wine at a reasonable price point.”
That said, Rudi’s on King will differentiate its offerings from the retail shop and cafe in Mt. Pleasant. “We’ll be focusing on nice, crisp whites, rosé, and a bubbles selection including Champagne, prosecco, and sparkling wine.”
For the menu, Rudi’s will begin by serving macaroons, pastries, and sweets, then roll out their sandwich menu as well as charcuterie plates later in the spring.
Look for Rudi’s Caffe e Vino and Skinny Dip Charleston to launch on April 1.