[image-1] [image-3]Walking inside Rudi’s Caffé e Vino is like stepping into a little slice of Italy. Italian Rudi Barbieri, the café and wine bar’s namesake, is the owner, along with his wife Annie. Rudi’s mother, speaking solely Italian (with much gusto, we might add), twirls by holding her infant grandson, totally enamored with the little boy. While talking with Rudi, his wife helps him find the right words when he comes up blank. “English is his fifth language,” she explains.
In just six weeks time, the vacant building that used to be a dimly lit college bar has transformed into an unrecognizable retail space. 345 King St. is now home to Skinny Dip, a clothing and accessories store, which partnered with the Mt. Pleasant-based café and wine bar, Rudi’s. The wine bar, located on the second floor, features a bright and open rooftop patio. The exposed brick walls are painted white, and the bar and wine shelves are made of wood that’s been repurposed from 120-year-old historic homes.
The shelves are lined with rose gold and blue colored bottles, and the menu is written in calligraphy on a large mirror. Annie adds that they’re adding antiques to the wine bar, specifically ones that have been sent by Rudi’s family in Bologna. Additionally, Rudi’s Caffé e Vino opens up to a small selection of clothing and lifestyle items from Skinny Dip, so guests can shop while they sip.
[image-5]Rudi’s rooftop bar is decorated with strung-up lights and paper lanterns. Guests can enjoy Rudi’s featured drink, Frosé complimented by a hint of grapefruit and topped with fresh mint and basil ($8 a glass), while relaxing in the outdoor bamboo chairs. Annie adds that the mint and basil are harvested from the patio garden, where edible flowers are also grown.
[image-6]In addition to Frosé, the wine bar serves Rosé, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco, and Champagne. The atmosphere and wine selection are both light, fun, and bubbly. Rudi says that they will be hosting at least one wine tasting a month, with the goal of exposing Charlestonians to exclusive Italian and French bottles that locals may not have an opportunity to find in elsewhere in the city.
“Our goal for the wine bar is to find that amazing wine that no one knows about, and find a way to bring it to Charleston,” says Annie. The couple also want Rudi’s Caffé e Vino to be a destination for light brunch. Eventually they’ll serve charcuterie, pastries from EVO, cheese plates, and sandwiches.
The couple is excited to collaborate with local businesses, and hopes to frequently host live bands and trunk shows.
Rudi’s is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.