305 Wine Garage Offers a Unique Wine Shop Experience
Writer: Josh Lowe Photographer: Josh Brown
It almost didn’t happen. Steve Boulanger had been toying with the idea to try something new and different before his retirement years. He wanted something that would be his — something that would combine his love of wine with his love of good company. But it took a chance drive by an old service garage for this dream to really take form.
Boulanger, owner of 305 Wine Garage, has worked in the service industry for years — from a local restaurant to an independent living facility. But he wanted something else.
“This was our pre-retirement project,” he says. After a couple of dead ends with licensing, Boulanger decided to change his business concept from simply a wine shop to a small restaurant. On a trip up to Fortville, he saw a local building for lease. A year later, he found an old garage at 305 Main Street in need of a great deal of work.
The wine shop now sits in the old service garage, where a filling station was located in the front. The building also used to be a tire shop and has housed other small businesses.
“Why wine? We enjoy going to wine shops and wine bars. I’m learning a lot as I go. We like to go to local wine shops with friends,” Boulanger says.
The whole venture has been a family affair. Boulanger wanted to do something with his wife, whose years of designing kitchens and dining rooms came in handy as the couple planned the shop’s layout.
“We wanted to do something together,” he says. “My dad’s a huge wine drinker and he collects wine. He helped us get more knowledgeable and got us off of drinking just White Zinfandel.”
The shop is full of industrial decor. The high-top bar features a frame of metal pipes. A few chairs and a couch offer more comfortable seating along with many tables and chairs. “We didn’t want a wooden top bar,” Boulanger says. “We wanted something different.”
They eventually settled on a stainless steel bar with old, industrial lighting above. They also chose old-style barn lights for the main seating area. The shop can seat around 30 people.
The wine shelves were all hand-built by Boulanger and his family using metal pipes and thick pine. The wine shelves will display the shop’s more than 200 wine choices, organized by type from all over the world and local, Indiana selections. The center shelves will feature wines priced under $20, with a more expensive shelf near the back. The shop will also offer some local bottled beer. In the future, Boulanger would love to offer specials for a Saturday mimosa or Bloody Mary.
When they leased the building, the name choice came very easy.
“We’re in a garage, so why not call it the Wine Garage,” Boulanger says. But the domain name was already taken, so they added the street number to the shop’s name: now 305 Wine Garage.
Customers to 305 Wine Garage can sit and enjoy a glass of wine or purchase a bottle to drink inside or carryout. The kitchen will offer appetizers, sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and some desserts.
“I’m happy for people to host people for a glass of wine while they wait for their tables at Fortville’s great local restaurants,” Boulanger says.
He’s excited to be a spot for dinner or just casual drinks as people stroll up and down the streets of Fortville.
305 Wine Garage officially opened March 20 and is located at 305 S Main Street in Fortville. The shop is open from Tuesday-Saturday, late morning until 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“I want it to be a gathering place for friends,” Boulanger says. “I hope that’s what it is. Whether it be from Geist, Indy, Fishers, Greenfield or maybe right here in Fortville.”