On Thurs. June 11, some unhappy Park Circle-ers created a change.org petition directed at Justin Croxall and Matt Tunstall’s new Park Circle wine bar, Stems & Skins. The petition — Change your concept/business plan — calls for Croxall and Tunstall to alter their store’s plans due to its location near the recently opened wine store and bar, Accent on Wine & More.
Accent on Wine & More’s Hal Mahoney says that the store wants nothing to do with the petition. “We didn’t start it and we don’t want our name on it. We want it taken down,” he says. Mahoney adds that the image of the store is being used without permission (which we can’t argue with — it’s the same image used by Sam Spence in his June 2 blog post).
As for Stems & Skins co-owner Justin Croxall, he’s not too worried about the petition, saying that since its posting things have “died down.” “I think it was a small group of people and it never got past that,” he says. The petition currently has 22 signatures. Only 78 more are needed to reach 100. And what happens when a change.org petition gets 100 signatures? Well, nothing.
“Everyone has the right to open a business. It’s a free market,” Croxall adds. Beyond their right to open, Croxall says that Stems & Skins is also, quite simply, a different concept than AOW. “We’re a good bit different from Accent on Wine. We don’t do retail and we’re more of a restaurant and wine bar.”
The planned hours will be 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. which Croxall hopes will draw a different crowd from Accent on Wine which closes at 9 p.m. on the weekdays and 10 p.m. on the weekends. “One of the main reasons we chose Park Circle is the 12 o’clock curfew [in downtown Charleston],” says Croxall.
Future Stems & Skins patrons can look forward to a lot of wine expertise: Matt Tunstall is the current sommelier at Husk. “We’re going to do what we know and do the best we can do,” says Croxall. He says that while downtown Charleston has some good wine bars, he hopes to draw patrons off of the peninsula to check out Stems & Skins.
While some of change.org and Facebook’s commenters called for a different concept like a donut shop, a sushi place, or a cigar bar, Croxall says that wine will always be the main focus of Stems & Skins.
“It’s a small neighborhood, and we feel like Park Circle needed this,” says Croxall. “We love Park Circle and we wanna be a big part of it.”
Stem & Skins hopes to be open by this September.