On the corner of Eighth Street and Myrtle Street in downtown Georgetown, an unassuming industrial-style building sits next to an old Victorian home.

Built in 1919, the location has a storied history as a carriage house, an auto repair shop, a wedding venue, and now, a chic wine bistro where patrons can sip, shop and learn all at once.

Union Merchant opened in 2022 alongside the boutique Hase Hase, which both operate within the historic garage.

The shop serves a variety of wines, beers and charcuterie foods, which customers can enjoy as they lounge on the lawn or poke around displays of home decor, clothing and gift items.

Meet the owner

Owner Michael Walton worked at IBM for over 20 years, and as a hobby, he wrote a wine column for the Williamson County Sun.

"When COVID hit, I was laid off, and it was impossible to find another job," Walton said.

Deciding to pursue his passion full-time, Walton began curating the wine program for City Post Chophouse.

Now, as the owner of Union Merchant, he shares his love and knowledge of wines on a daily basis.

"It's a very welcoming, very community [driven] place. We have a lot of regulars," Walton said.

What they offer

Alongside the store's extensive wine selection, the menu includes small bites, such as tinned fish, mixed nuts, cheeses and cured meats, which customers can purchase in bulk.

For those wanting to learn more about wine, Walton hosts monthly tasting classes where participants can learn about different regions and producers.

Additionally, the shop has a Wine Club, in which members are given three new bottles of wine quarterly alongside education events and tasting suggestions.

On Thursdays and Saturdays, live music plays on the lawn—an activity that will ramp up as the weather warms up, Walton said.

Residents are currently able to reserve a private room called the Parlor for events and gatherings.

Looking ahead

Walton said he hopes to widen the food selection going forward by either hosting more food trucks outside the building or expanding the existing kitchen.