KINGMAN - If you've spent any time on Beale Street in the last few weeks, you've probably already heard of The Cellar Door, even if you haven't actually heard the name itself or anything else about it other than that it's some kind of "wine place." That it most certainly is - a wine bar, a wine dealer and a generally cool place to kick back, listen to music and engage in conversation over a cheese plate at day's end.
What you might not have realized yet is that it's also open for business.
The Cellar Door, at 414 E. Beale St., is the collaborative effort of a husband and wife team - Scott and Nancy Rhodes. While neither Rhodes is a native to Kingman - Scott is from Wisconsin and Nancy is from Needles, Calif., - both have lived and taught public school in Kingman for more than 25 years.
Looking toward the downtown area they've come to love so much, the two said they had long wanted to help revitalize Beale Street's business district while also providing some place different from the average bar or restaurant, with a quieter, more subdued atmosphere.
"We've been turning this over in our heads for a while; there's a wine shop in Flagstaff that we've enjoyed going to," Scott said. "We saw the opportunity to fill a need."
And The Cellar Door was born. Amidst its cushy seats, antique furnishings and dim lighting, a wine chart akin to the periodic table of elements adorns The Cellar Door's far wall, listing dozens of wines by color, strength and acidity. As business picks up steam, Scott said he hopes to obtain examples of every wine on the chart to sell in-store. The bottles currently for sale are priced from $12 to $42, though that range is likely to shift as more wines are made available.
"Our hope is that we'll be able to run about 100 different labels, and we'll have wine by the glass as well," Scott said. "People can purchase a bottle to drink on-site. We're open to suggestion, too, from people who have a particular label that they prefer."
In addition to serving a rotating selection of 15 to 18 wines by the glass, ranging in price from $5 to $12, The Cellar Door will also carry a variety of beers - again, none of which the customer would likely find in any corner bar.
"The beers will be all bottled beer, imports, microbrews," Scott said. "We'll probably have in the area of 12 to 15 brands."
"We'll have a good selection of non-alcoholic beverages, too," Nancy said.
Customers will also be able to order a variety of cheese plates to enjoy with their beverages. Though the Rhodeses are only starting with a handful, they hope to add more to their menu as business grows. Still learning the wine trade themselves, Scott and Nancy have also been mulling over future possibilities for turning more Kingmanites onto the world of wine - featured wines of the week, for example, or "wine flights" - letting customers sample an ounce or two of several different labels to compare and contrast.
"We will certainly be open to recommendations," Scott said. "We're always trying new things."
Keeping in theme with its subdued, laid-back atmosphere, The Cellar Door also features an assortment of board games and magazines geared toward the wine connoisseur. The bar provides the soothing soundtrack to a relaxing evening with low-key satellite radio."We want to go with basically background music - lighter, softer," Scott said. "At some point, we would like to have live music."
But even though the Rhodeses certainly have an idea of the kind of atmosphere they're going for, when asked what kind of clientele they expect to draw, the sky - rather, the street - is the limit.
"(It's for) anybody who looks in and decides this is the kind of place they'd like to spend some time in," Nancy said.
"Anyone who's looking for a place to relax," Scott added. "I think it'd be a real nice place to come on a date."
The Cellar Door is open five days a week: On Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 10 p.m., on Fridays from 4 p.m. to midnight, and on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to midnight. For more information, visit www.the-cellar-door.com or call (928) 753-3885.