Lolita's Wine Market has been a staple for locals to sip on boutique wines and munch on create-your-own charcuterie boards since it debuted in July 2017, but co-owner Kelly Rodriguez-Laureano connected with CL to dish details about new developments at bustling 'Burg wine market.
"We’ve taken over the former Spitfire Theater space next door," Rodriguez-Laureano says before continuing to explain that the front half of the space will be utilized as a retail wine shop. "We'll be selling all of the wines we have available, and we’ll be expanding our inventory."
The back of the space, however, will be transformed into a much needed event space for private events and parties on Fridays and Saturdays. In the past, to accommodate baby showers, mixers, and business events Before expansion, Lolita's could only hold private events on either Monday or Tuesday—the days the restaurant is closed for business.
"We’ve had a zillion requests for parties and we haven’t had the space for that until now," she says. "This will be a much more affordable option."
When it comes to decor in the private event space, Lolita's is shooting for a speakeasy vibe.
"The decor is like an upscale living room that would belong to Lolita's. We’re very excited about it. It’s coming together better than what we envisioned," she says, adding that about 30 guests can fit in the intimate space depending on the setup (cocktail events accommodate up to 40 people.) On weekends, when there aren't any events scheduled, the space will be utilized as overflow seating.
The space also allows for the return of Lolita's Thursday wine tastings, the first of which takes place on February 13.
"We started out trying to do that and we found that it was intrusive for someone who wanted to dine with us. This will be great because people will have the opportunity to either dine with us on their own without interruption, or attend the wine tastings we facilitate," Rodriguez-Laureano says, adding that wine tastings will prioritize winemakers, owners or people who have a thumbprint in the making of the wines.
Lolita's has already scheduled out tastings throughout February and March, and the lineup will be available on the website sometime next week.
"We want to keep what we’ve evolved," she explains, "Our main purpose is to give people that event private party space for when they want to share those exciting special occasions with us."
Lolita's Wine Market is located at 16 18th St. S. in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District. More details to come as the space develops and the first tasting approaches.
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