Apis Wine & Meadery moves down the street in Carnegie
David Cerminara thought that six months after opening Apis Mead & Winery, he could move the counter up to the door and sell growlers and bottles of honey wine to-go. The goal was to maximize the amount of space for wine production, he said, but the business took off in the opposite direction.
He ended up moving the bar even farther back.
“Outside sales were great and people buying bottles has always been great,” he said, “but people wanted to come and hang out.”
There’s even more room to hang out now that Apis has moved to 206 Mary Street in Carnegie, just two blocks away from the original on East Main Street. The business celebrated its grand opening and fourth anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 4, both of which fell on National Mead Day.
Cerminara bought the building that now houses Apis in 2016 and spent the past few years renovating it. It still features the same style of wood-paneled walls, but there’s enough high-table and bar seating inside the 11,000-square-foot facility for 65 people. The new location adds a stage and outdoor patio with seating for up to 65.
There’s space on the patio for yard games like cornhole and room to host a food truck, which Apis plans to do on Friday and Saturday nights. The draft list has grown with the business from 10 to 30 and now includes beer, with products from local outfits like Penn Brewery, Aurochs Brewing, Mindful Brewing Company and Arsenal Cider now on tap.
With the space for additional production equipment, Cerminara said the winery can now produce 11 times as much liquid in one 8-10 hour shift as it could at the old location. The move led to the hiring of one new production staffer and four new servers, bringing the total number of employees to eight.
Despite the upgrade in size, Cerminara said the bar will maintain the coffee shop-vibe that made the original so popular. There are still board games available to play, and there are plans to add arcade machines.
“I want you to walk into the place and feel like there’s always a seat for you. There’s always a table for you, there’s always the game you want to play. There’s always a friend here.”
Matthew Guerry is a Tribune-Review contributor.