San Francisco, CA
The idea for Wine Down, located at 685 Folsom Street in San Francisco, started over a glass of wine (or two). Sarah Burke-Garand and Jaime Hiraishi, owners of Wine Down, were co-workers who never found the perfect bar for their frequent happy hours, no matter how many places they visited. They wanted a casual, laid back wine bar that brought a great selection of wine and craft beers back down to earth, and that’s what they’ve created in their business.
Wine Down opened in June 2016, but it was a two-and-a-half year journey. “Our call to Main Street Launch was one of our first, when Wine Down was really just an idea,” remembers Jaime. “It was helpful toreceive constructive feedback and understand exactly what we would need to do in order to get a loan. That first conversation helped set us up for success when we were ready for the loan.”
Their loan from Main Street Launch paid for a lot of what you see in their business: furniture, fixtures, inventory, and team training for the four part-time team members who now help create a great customer experience at Wine Down.
Jaime offers advice to other entrepreneurs considering opening a bar or restaurant: “You need patience and persistence. We spoke to other bar and restaurant owners as we were starting out. They all gave great advice. Our biggest takeaway was that you should expect it to take twice as long and cost twice as much as you originally thought—and they were right—so plan accordingly.”
Wine Down offers their customers a space where people can feel comfortable and “wine down” with happy hour specials, a relaxed vibe, and fun service. Visit their website to check out their menu.