Lula Drake wine parlour will open in the fully renovated and restored 1635 Main St. on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Owned by Columbia brothers Tim (of Mad Monkey video production boutique at 1631 Main St.), Stan (formerly of Hunter-Gatherer brewpub) and Jeff Gardner, Lula Drake will be the newest business in the historic Main Street building which according to documents with the Columbia Design/Development Review Commission, initially opened in 1873 as a saloon owned by German native Columbia businessman John C. Seegers who helped rebuild the 1600 block of Main Street following the fire of 1865. Most recently, 1635 was home to T.O. Thompson Jewelry.
During renovation of the building, the brothers unearthed several historic gems including sections of the original tile design in the building's entrance (which they have since restored and rebuilt based on old photographs to include the numbers 1635); the original stars from the front of the building (also restored); and a trunk in the basement containing personal effects of one Lula Drake--an Abbeville native who moved to Columbia and operated a hat shop in Columbia in the early 1900s.
In order to maintain the element of surprise--and be able to complete the renovation without constant interruption--the brothers covered the Lula Drake’s fully restored front windows with brown paper.
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“If it weren’t for that paper being up we wouldn’t have been able to get anything done,” Tim Gardner said with a laugh. “The interest in the space has been really great. There’s a lot of anticipation surrounding its unveiling.”
The wine list at Lula Drake will be focused on the world of natural wines while the menu is described by the Gardner brothers as "Casa in Casa" or "house to house.
"Think about discovering the small towns of Italy, Spain, France, Germany, or Austria, and then, suddenly, a wonderful villager invites you into their home to share what was brought in that day," the brothers wrote on their Facebook page. "For us that means small plates, and a limited menu based on the wines and beers we're pouring that day. Vegetarian options, of course, as well as Columbia's base for the finest ham on earth-- Jamon Iberico."