Vino Volo Hopes To Spread Its Wings In Bethesda
Vino Volo's 2,500-square-foot space in Bethesda Row will be a departure of sorts for the San Francisco-based chain of wine bars. Until now, Vino Volo's locations have been confined to airports, providing a smaller space and a captive audience behind security gates. When it opens sometime this fall on Woodmont Avenue (next to Mon Ami Gabi) the concept will remain mostly the same — flights of three wines and small plates — with some tweaks, such as a bigger menu. "We're taking what we do in the airports and doing that. You just don't need a boarding pass," said Marketing Director Natalie White. "We're not reinventing anything." So why Bethesda? White said the company had familiarity with the area. The first of its 18 airport locations opened in 2005 at Washington Dulles International. The wealthy market doesn't hurt, of course. White said the consistent foot traffic in and around Bethesda Row was appealing, and should compare favorably to the flow of airport customers with limited other options. "There are a lot of people who feel like it's a destination down there," White said. "We want wine to be really approachable. The staff can tell you why we selected a wine, the story behind it, the winemaker. That's what people love about us, and that's our goal."