Audrey Claire Cook, the demonstration kitchen on 20th Street near Rittenhouse Square, will reopen in November as a wine shop called Cork.
This is the short-term plan, said founder Audrey Taichman, who said the 16-seat chef’s counter simply could not be used under current occupancy rules. It was last open in March.
Taichman, who opened Cook in summer 2011 as a showcase for local chefs to lead intimate classes, will offer wines not available in Pennsylvania’s state stores — “a well-priced table wine on a weeknight or a splurge-y sparkling to toast a special occasion,” as she put it. The product line also will include cheese, charcuterie, and caviar.
She is billing Cork as an extension of Cook’s existing retail pantry, which sells cookbooks, wine accessories, entertaining pieces, kitchen utensils, and linens. There will be a wine club with monthly virtual tastings, as well as in-store pop-up events with local chefs and bakers.
Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Other restaurateurs and restaurants are in the wine game, including Vernick Wine, Fitz and Starts, Jet Wine Bar, the Tria locations, Le Caveau, and Bistro Romano.
Taichman’s ties to the neighborhood stretch back into the 1990s, when she started waiting tables for Weaver Lilley at the pioneering Friday Saturday Sunday around the corner at 21st and Rittenhouse.
At 27 in 1996, she opened Audrey Claire BYOB at 20th and Spruce, following it up in 1999 with a takeover of the old Carolina’s across the way as Twenty Manning (later Twenty Manning Grill). She sold those two restaurants to Rob Wasserman, the owner of the nearby Rouge, in 2018.