In March, when the wind was blustery and the threat of a blizzard still hung in the air, Wayland Square frequenters might have noticed that Mercer’s Deli suddenly closed. The sign on the door alluded to a much different concept gracing Angell Street in the coming months. Then, on the first of May, Providence Wine Bar opened its doors with a mission: to make wine and small plates accessible and affordable to its patrons.
Owner Ben Lloyd made the decision to switch concepts when he found that he and his staff were “swimming upstream” at Mercer’s. Curing deli meats and selling 10-ounce sandwiches was not an effective way to stave off financial difficulty and burnout. So, Ben turned to another one of his passions, wine.
The current set up at Providence Wine Bar is casual, with long, cushioned benches and a lounge area in the back. Take one glance at the wine menu and you’ll see that the vast selection truly stands up to its name, “wine bar.” The items are separated into reds and beers on one side and whites, roses, and sakes on the other. Patrons will see that the lists are broken down further by common varietals and their descriptions. Wine that is highlighted in red is “easy drinking,” meaning that those with unseasoned palates can pick out a drink quickly without feeling discouraged or overwhelmed.
The majority of the wine bar’s customers come in before or after their main meals at the surrounding neighborhood restaurants for a drink and a quick bite. There is no hood system at the establishment, so food items are either raw or pre-cooked, heated on the two induction plates the staff has behind the bar. When you’re there, try some of Ben’s acorn-fed Iberico Ham or Tuna Carpaccio. It might be just the thing to start your evening off right. 485 Angell Street