Your wait for a neighborhood wine bar will not be long now. And it can’t come soon enough for 38-year-old sommelier and entrepreneur Laura Black.
If all goes as planned, Clink Wine Bar and Bites will open by March at the southwest corner of Lakeside and Surrey (2601 Lakeside), said Black, also the venture’s owner and operator.
A selection of 16 wines will be served on tap (as well as four beers) along with wines from all over the world by the glass and bottle. Food also will play an important role at Clink.
“Tapas-style plates or ‘bites’ such as charcuterie boards, flat breads, paninis, salads, and desserts will be served,” explained Black. “Food won’t be an afterthought.”
“Our menu, and our wines, will be rotated every two months to keep things fresh and exciting,” Black added. “Of course, we will always serve the well-loved favorites.”
Clink’s corner location sits across Lakeside from the Tavern (to the north) and across Surrey from the Results Center (to the east). The building features ample covered outdoor space where Black hopes to seat up to 30 patrons.
The interior will feel clean, bright, and airy. A mid-century modern aesthetic will feature a palette of aqua, cream, and grays.
Black first visited Napa at age 21 with her mom, whom she credits for inspiring her love of wine. That’s when the wine bug bit her.
Floor-to-ceiling black metal shelves will showcase over 100 different wines in the walk-in wine cellar where customers can shop for bottles to go (or home delivery). A window in the bar area will offer customers a view of the wine cellar.
An additional room will be available for private events.
“We worked closely with Liz Johnson of Wallace-Johnson Studio (who has designed many interiors at Lakeside) to create a space that people will love. She seemed to know exactly what I was looking for.”
“Wine is about community. It is meant to be shared with family or friends while enjoying moments big and small.
“My job,” she added, “is to find you a great glass or bottle that you will enjoy, and that enriches your experience.”
Black, an Ohio native, worked her way through Bowling Green State University by waiting tables at restaurants and bars.
At age 21 she visited Napa with her mom, a wine enthusiast whom she credits for inspiring her love of wine. That’s when the wine bug bit her.
By her mid-twenties, Black started taking wine education classes at the University of Tennessee, visiting more wine regions, and reading wine books.
“I’ve visited Sonoma (many many times), Napa, Paso Robles, the Texas Hill Country, and Tuscany.”
She talked often with friends about one day opening a wine bar.
Her understanding of the business was furthered by her day job working for The Hive Inc., a partner for Brown-Forman, one of the largest American-owned spirits and wine companies. Its brands include Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve, and Herradura as well as Korbel Champagne and Sonoma-Cutrer.
Six years ago, The Hive promoted Black to a position in DFW, where she and husband Greg, now an Irving police officer, selected Flower Mound for its proximity to DFW Airport. Black’s new job kept her traveling 3-5 days per week.
The dream of opening a wine bar grew stronger.
“My friends got tired of my talking about it for a decade,” she laughed, “so they (along with my husband) encouraged me to start writing a business plan and find the space.”
Lakeside quickly emerged as her preferred location.
“The demographics match my business plan,” Black explained. “And people in the area appear interested in the type of business and services I intend to offer.”
“If things had gone how I originally intended, we would have opened at the beginning of the pandemic. That would have been extremely problematic”.
— Laura Black,
Owner and operator
of Clink Wine Bar
Lakeside’s location also sits just a short car (or bike) ride from her home in Lakeview Estates, all without having to negotiate FM 2499.
Robert Luleff of City Commercial Realty and Jimmy Archie, managing director of Realty Capital (master developer of Lakeside) helped negotiate the lease for BlackRock, the New York owner of Elan Flower Mound.
“Laura has been wonderful to work with,” Luleff said. “She knows her stuff and nothing seemed to phase her. Not even COVID. I think customers will love her.”
“If things had gone how I originally intended,” she said, “we would have opened at the beginning of the pandemic. That would have been extremely problematic.”
“Throughout the pandemic,” added Archie, “Laura’s persistence in pursuit of her dream of opening Clink has been remarkable.
“We can’t wait for customers to experience her attention to detail and knowledge of the wine industry.”
Clink will offer wine education classes and food and wine pairings led by a winemaker, winery representative, or sommelier each month.
On Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, Clink will open from 4 to 10 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, the doors will remain open until 11 pm.