In recent years, it’s no secret that downtown Statesboro has seen a major increase in business development. Owned by Michael Blackmon, one spot that has been drawing a crowd downtown is Vino 1910. Located at 22 West Main, the locally owned business is not just a wine bar as the name might lead you to think.
The inspiration for the pub came from a group of friends sitting around that wanted something to do that the downtown area would appreciate.
“We all had a passion for wine so one thing led to another and here we are,” said Blackmon. “I also think the atmosphere had been missing in Statesboro and our clientele appreciate that.”
That atmosphere certainly has character added to it by local artisans.
“Our bar was crafted by an absolutely incredible contractor named John Williams. He used butcher block to make our tables and the bar was built by him as well,” said Tori Zellner, general manager.
Vino 1910 will celebrate their first year open on Nov. 26. They plan to celebrate with a big celebration slated for Black Friday since they opened on Black Friday of 2021.
Since that opening, they have worked toward the goal of wine education.
“It’s funny, I don’t think we set real hard goals. We knew we wanted to be successful — I mean we didn’t want to close the doors after one year — but I think the biggest goal was to expand wine knowledge to all people, from someone who has never had wine to a wine connoisseur, as well as having repeat clientele and hope that the town loves what we’re doing for future developments,” said Blackmon
One way to expand wine knowledge is to have an expansive menu of wine — and they certainly do. Currently, their online menu boasts more than 50 wine selections.
“Our staff is well versed in our menu and can truly find a perfect wine for everyone,” said Zellner. “Tastings are offered as well to ensure that we find a perfect match.”
Vino 1910 is more of a pub-style environment for people to drink, converse and enjoy one another’s company, so the food menu is small.
“We have four beers on draft as well as a variety of liquor. We didn’t want to limit ourselves to just wine so we do offer the other spirts,” said Blackmon.
Their main focus for food is different sizes charcuterie boards along with a few dessert options.
On social media, you can see that the business participates in some fundraising opportunities, hosting percentage nights for various nonprofits. During the month of September, proceeds benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Light the Night.
Lift As You Grow was the beneficiary of percentage nights on Tuesdays in August. The organization sells local candles at the Statesboro Farmers’ Market to raise money to “empower vulnerable and at-risk women by providing economic mobility through part-time, transitional employment and adult education as a safe place for healing healthy society.”
Zellner said that Lift As You Grow will be the beneficiary again on
Also on their calendar are weekly Teacher Appreciation Nights every Tuesday where they offer $5 house wines and 25% off the charcuterie boards for teachers.
“We always appreciate the people who educate us,” said Blackmon. “There’s a big community of teachers and professors in the area and we wanted to show our gratitude for them.”
Wednesdays are Self Care for Healthcare nights and healthcare workers and medical staff receive $5 house wines.
Their charcuterie board offerings are constantly changing so that a repeat customer can continue to have a new experience with each visit. Their board menu lists three different sizes: Solo, Duet and Ensemble. This is so that your board size can match your party size.
When asked to pinpoint what he thought was the reason that Vino 1910 had become a hot spot in Statesboro so quickly, Blackmon quickly recognized his staff.
“I love our staff. The first compliments we always receive are how knowledgeable our staff is. It wouldn’t be successful without them,” he said.
Zellner confirms Blackmon’s sentiment about the staff, saying that the staff’s knowledge is very impressive.
“Our staff goes through an extensive training for each menu update. Our bartenders taste and are given a full overview of all of our wines that we have on our current menu. We aim to have a rotating wine menu three times a year,” she said.
Zellner is currently certified WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Level I in wine and is working on her Level II. The WSET is touted as the world’s most recognized wine education and certification body.
She says she has “ensured that the staff has every opportunity to ask and learn as much as possible about wine.”
The location can be rented out for private events such as bridal showers, but it’s also a perfect spot for a first date or a small intimate gathering of friends.
Zellner said, “We do also offer catering charcuterie boards off-site, as well as having catering style charcuterie for private events that we cover our full bar with incredible meats and cheeses.”
Regardless of if you’re looking to have a good time with pals, satisfy your palette with a glass of red and a charcuterie board (or dessert board) or host an event for a birthday or other celebration, Vino 1910 definitely has a lot to offer besides wine — great atmosphere, helpful and friendly staff and perhaps best of all, a community spirit of giving back with their partnerships with local nonprofits and discounts for teachers and healthcare workers.