Six years ago, when Daniel Kuhlman and his wife, Kristal, opened Tastes Wine Bar & Bistro on Tennyson Street, they had a vision. "What we created at Tastes was a venture of love fueled by passion, and we wanted to share that passion and love with the neighborhood and customers -- the people we love and invited into our wine bar 'living room,'" says Kuhlman, who later added a second outpost of Tastes, then Wild Catch and Roam, all of which he opened -- and subsequently closed -- in the same space in Uptown. Kuhlman has since sold Roam, which he unexpectedly shuttered in March (he closed Wild Catch in November of last year), to Gary Hvizda, one of the original owners of the downtown Gumbo's.
And now Tastes Wine Bar & Bistro on Tennyson, which Kuhlman opened in 2006, is for sale.
"Over the course of the past few years, the economy and our Uptown Tastes location kind of zapped us of our passion, and we lost our taste for the hospitality industry," explains Kuhlman. And the "sad reality," he continues, "is that we're now being pressured to sell the wine bar on Tennyson, mainly because the press surrounding Wild Catch and Roam has been so negative."
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Kuhlman maintains that his customer base at Tastes on Tennyson has dwindled in recent months -- and is a major reason why he's decided to put the wine bar on the selling block. "We have a lot of people who now question us, and when that happens, you lose customers," he laments.
But until he sells the wine bar and bistro, Kuhlman isn't going anywhere. "I've taken over the operations here for the foreseeable future, and I'll be here until we sell the place, which could be tomorrow, the end of the year, or next year," he says. Once he finds a buyer, he'll contemplate his next move: "I don't know what I'll do once it's sold, other than focus on my family, but I'd love to find a buyer who will carry on our neighborhood tradition -- someone who has the same kind of passion that we did when we first opened."