Cork Market Coming To 14th St. This Fall

The future home of Cork Market

Just up the street from their popular Cork Wine Bar, Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts will expand their business this fall with Cork Market, a wine and gourmet food shop.

Construction will start next week at 1805 14th St. NW, a building the husband-and-wife team just purchased. They hope to open by September or October.

Both longtime residents of the neighborhood, Pitts and Gross hope to channel the feel of a country store with personal service, order tracking to help customers remember favorite wines, take-home tasting notes and local delivery. "We're not building a hoity-toity gourmet shop," Gross says. Adds Pitts: "This is our neighborhood market."

The shop will offer all of the wines available on Cork's European list — with the same bin numbers if you've memorized your favorites — as well as some New World wines. Pricing will probably start around $10 at the low end. "If you're looking for that vintage wine, it'll be there," says Pitts. "But if you're looking for a table wine for that night, that'll be there, too."

The first floor will hold about 60 percent wine, with the remaining space devoted to a small selection of beer, food and specialty items, including cheese, charcuterie, jams, oils, vinegars, pasta, bread and baked goods. An open kitchen in the back will turn out sandwiches and salads to carry out, as well as some favorites off Cork's menu — chicken liver pâté, oil-cured roma tomatoes, olives, nuts. "I like to say everything you'd need for a picnic," says Gross.

The market's kitchen will also allow them to do small catering jobs.

The building's second floor will house a classroom for wine programs and private events. "We really wanted to get into doing classes," says Pitts. "We thought there'd be a great opportunity for people in the neighborhood to explore wine."

Gronning Architects, who created Cork's lived-in feel, will design the market in the same style, which Pitts calls "rustic urban."

"We always wanted to have a restaurant and a wine shop," says Gross. The market "gives us a lot of flexibility to sell wines and really expand the wine program."