FAIRFIELD – SOMM Wines has relocated from the west side of the square to East Grimes Avenue on the block north and west of it, just south of the First United Methodist Church.
The business has moved into a building that was most recently a home, but an office before that hosting Young’s Monument. Business owner Krista Mathes said it was a residence for 11-12 years before she moved in. The former owners had been wanting to sell it for a while but worried about what their home would become. After meeting with Mathes and learning of her plans, they were comfortable turning over the keys.
Mathes said her new location represents the “next step” in her business’s development. She wanted a place that would offer both outdoor seating and greater privacy than she had at her old location on the square, which was one big open room. The new location has private rooms and several nooks and crannies where a couple can enjoy a romantic evening without being disturbed. There are several outdoor tables that are separated from each other so that conversations can remain private.
“I wanted a place where guests can browse without being on top of the guests who are dining,” Mathes said.
Renovation on the new place began in July, and Mathes was ready for business by early September. She has two employees, Maharishi School graduate Alejandra Giron and Fairfield High School graduate Jordan Whitney, who was working as an assistant sommelier in Chicago before the pandemic.
“This has been a fun time,” Whitney said. “I’m staying fresh on my wine knowledge, and getting familiar with Krista’s inventory.”
Mathes said she didn’t want to move too far from the downtown, remarking that she wanted to remain “square adjacent.” She has decorated the rooms, some with her personal effects and photos of her family.
“I like to bring a little of the personal into the store,” she said.
Customer Alissa Doyle Ward said she didn’t know that building was even there until Mathes moved into it. She said the renovations both inside and out are “amazing.”
“Krista remembers what you like, and she has a talent for giving you recommendations based on what you’ve had,” Ward said.
Joshua Laraby, executive director of Fairfield Economic Development Association, said he appreciates Mathes’s investment in the downtown and her ability to attract people there.