Grape & Grain, a craft beer and wine bar in downtown Homewood, has new owners and will soon launch a new approach to the business.
Homewood businessman Bill Frank recently announced that he agreed to purchase the business from Edia Santiago. Frank owns TBI Travel and Eggert Insurance as well as the building where Grape & Grain is located at 18031 Dixie Highway.
Santiago operated the bar with her family after purchasing it from its original owner, Ron Khalaf, who opened the business in 2012. Santiago and her family attempted to continue the bar's original specialty in craft beer and wine with frequent live music shows.
In recent months, however, the bar struggled. Frank said he agreed to help out.
When he looked at the space in the building, about 4,900 square feet with a capacity for about 140 people, he thought it would be well suited for events, so his family is planning to shift the focus of the business to more of an event and banquet location.
The bar will still be open to the public five days a week, except when large events are booked, he said.
He plans to seek a Class 1 liquor license, which would allow sales of any kind of alcohol for on- or off-premises consumption. The business has operated with a Class 14 license, which limits the kind of alcohol that can be served to craft-style beers, wines and whiskeys.
Frank said his children would be in charge of operating the business. Anthony Frank, who has experience in finance and banquet facility management, will be the general manager, and Christine Frank, who has experience in hospitality services, will run the bar.
"I'm the landlord, but I'm also the proud dad," he said, noting that his children learned hospitality from an early age. "I was in the Lions Club for 35 years, and every time the club had a spaghetti dinner, those kids were there helping."
Frank also has experience managing events. He coordinated the former Homewood Days festival for about two decades, he said.
"I met a lot of bands," he said.
He expects that experience will be useful, especially with helping arrange entertainment. He said Grape & Grain, one of the most active music and entertainment venues in the area, would continue to offer live performances.
The bar is expected to open again soon. Frank said several parties have already been booked for December dates.