Redondo Beach, California
November 30, 2005
There are no strangers here: only friends you haven’t met.
Friends of the Vine is located in the Riviera Village area of South Redondo Beach, just a block and a half from the beach, surrounded by boutiques, restaurants, day spas and more.
Fred, the owner, has a frequently changing (weekly?) menu of wines to taste in flights (glasses of related wines) or singly, in either 2-oz, 4-oz, or 6-oz servings. You can bring in your own bottle for a nominal corkage fee or purchase a bottle from his large selection in the retail area for a lesser corkage fee. A small selection of snacks (cheese, crackers, etc) is available if you didn’t grab dinner first. On one visit we had the cheese and cracker plate which included walnuts, crackers, cheddar, smoked gouda and I believe pepper jack. Tasty enough, but nothing special. The wine is the star here.An array of comfortable couches, ottomans, and chairs, as well as a long table with stools mid-room and the bar and stools, take up over half the available space; the rest is taken up by the before-mentioned wine retail area.One time we went the place was absolutely packed; we stayed til closing (which used to vary but is now around midnight or one due to complaints from nearby houses – not that the place is a rowdy bar). The other time there were a few people there, mostly packed around the bar and talking to Fred. Fred, by the way, is great: very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. (On my first visit, I was meeting some girlfriends, and despite a late start on my part, I was the first to arrive; Fred welcomed me immediately, introducing himself and telling me to make myself at home.)Metered parking is free after 6pm.WebsiteTuesday – Sunday open from 2:30pm
From journal Living in Redondo Beach