People who dare to bring outside food to most establishments might receive a glaring look of disapproval, but Jane Studstill encourages it at Cork & Olive.
Studstill said Cork & Olive customers may order the light appetizers they offer, such as cheese plates and hummus, to accompany their wine. But she is just as fine with customers ordering from the neighboring establishments — The Cheddar Biscuit and Joel’s Pizza Palace. In fact, both nearby businesses deliver to Cork & Olive.
“It’s a neighborhood here,” she said. “People know everyone. Some customers walk their dogs over here and have a glass of wine on the patio and then walk their dogs home.”
While they were once located at the Brandon Crossroads shopping center, that changed in 2012, when Studstill bought the business and decided she wanted to be closer to what she saw as her customer base.
In January of this year, she moved to the Bloomingdale location in the Plaza Bella shopping center at the corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road.
Even though the parent company of Cork & Olive filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations, franchise owners including Studstill had the option to purchase their businesses and stay open. Studstill said she is glad she decided to stick it out through the rough economy.
“A lot of the Cork & Olives were just the wine store,” she said. “They did not have the restaurant and the music.”
She said patrons who don’t finish their wine may have the bottle re-corked and sealed so they may enjoy it later at home.
“People are looking for a place close to home where they can come and listen to live music and enjoy a glass of wine,” she said.
Fridays and Saturdays, she offers live music from 8 p.m. to midnight. The establishment closes at 1 a.m. on those nights.
Also, she hosts a Sip ’n’ Dip on the last Thursday of the month from 6 to 9 p.m. People pay $10 for a wine glass and tickets to taste different wines introduced by vendors. They may also enjoy the music and hors d’oeuvres.
Studstill said her two adult daughters, who are both studying business, help her with the business. Janie Hamilton, 35, who serves as a reservist in the National Guard, orders the wines.
Amanda Studstill, 30, handles entertainment bookings. “We have great artists who have been with us for a while,” she said.
The entertainment ranges from jazz and blues to contemporary music. They also have Latin and karaoke nights.
Amanda recently gave birth to a son, Parker, but she plans to continue working in the family business.
“It’s always great to work with family,” Amanda said. “It’s easy. They are the best group of people I know.”
Amanda said she was a fan of Cork & Olive before they bought it a year ago.
“I really thought I knew a lot about wine until we bought the business and then I realized how little I did know,” Amanda said. “It’s a learning process. One bottle can take 15 years to make. It’s amazing how long it takes to make one good bottle of wine.”
Cork & Olive is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., as well as Sunday noon to 10 p.m. and Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.