Katie Greeman began her career as a restaurateur with little more experience than her time as a server at Bar Abilene. She wasn't much of a wine aficionado and when the song, "Spill the Wine" by War fortuitously played on the car stereo of her then boyfriend (eventual husband), she'd never even heard the tune before. Since those early days, she's lived a lifetime inside the walls of her restaurant and wine bar. She got married, had a baby and tragically lost her husband much too soon.
She picked up, pulled herself together, moved the restaurant from (what was then) a sleepy stretch of Washington Avenue to the vibrant corner of Bryant and West Lake Street. She designed the space from Pinterest boards, hung the local art, poured beautiful, affordable bottles of wine, classy cocktails and oversaw a succession of talented cooks in her kitchen.
Today she's announced to her staff and shares exclusively with Eater that she is marking the end of this chapter of her life. Spill the Wine has shuttered. However, it isn't quite the heartbreaking news it seems to be on the surface. While Greeman worries about all of her employees who are now forced to find new jobs, she is taking a deep, long breath and embracing her future.
As with any page turn, the end of her chapter marks a new beginning of another. Rebecca Illingworth has been a woman in search of the perfect location for her new concept since deciding to close Bin Wine Bar in St. Paul's Lowertown. It had originally been reported that she was eyeing a space in Linden Hills, but that address didn't work out. Someone put her in touch with Greeman, who hadn't been planning to sell. "It just seemed like a perfect fit," Greeman says, "and the right time."
The restaurant will not be a wine bar. Instead, it's a latin-infused eatery that will hopefully have a full liquor license (as Spill the Wine did.) Illingworth is from Mexico City and we expect to find flavor inspiration drawn directly from there. She has hired chef Carlos Garza who comes from Chicago after running the Carnivale Restaurant.
If all goes smoothly, Tino Cocina + Cantina will open before the spring thaw.