With more than 60 labels from countries such as France, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa, Flying Vine Wine Bar & Bistro opened Dec. 5 with Southern creole inspiration.
Cypress native Matthew Mitchell and Jersey Village native LeaErin Hurley own and operate the business in the Boardwalk at Towne Lake.
“We both wanted to stick to our roots with a country style,” Hurley said. “We like New Orleans, we like jazz, so that led to the Cajun French menu.”
Hurley and Mitchell have nearly 30 years of combined experience in the bar business. After The Woodlands-based company On the Rocks they worked for went out of business, they bought it out and opened Flying Pug Sports Pub in 2013.
Wanting to open a second location closer to home, they pounced on an opportunity from Towne Lake developer Caldwell Companies, which asked if they could create a wine bar concept for the Boardwalk.
With no background in wine or in the kitchen, Hurley and Mitchell sought out a sommelier and chefs to help them make Flying Vine possible. Then came the interview process with Caldwell.
“We had to wine and dine them, literally,” Hurley said. “We had to meet them and cook for them, show them what we might be putting on the menu, what our style might be. We had to be selected from four or five other wine bars wanting to come in.”
Hurley said Flying Vine’s pride in service is what sets them apart from the rest. Great service and giving back to the community is what has worked at Flying Pug, she said, so the plan is to continue that mission in Cypress.
Chefs Tony Swick and Brian Philipose said when planning the menu, they discussed what they like while balancing French creole style in classical dishes.
With selections like crawfish pot pie, fried green tomatoes, rack of lamb with butternut squash risotto and red snapper with crawfish butter sauce and Andouille rice, the chefs said they maintain a menu of upscale comfort food without being pretentious.
“We want to establish ourselves as a place where you don’t come in here as just another dinner option—we’re a place you can come hang out and you want to tell your friends about,” sommelier Samuel Melton said. “Once we get that established, between the service and the selection, how it’s executed is going to make this a mainstay around here.”
9945 Barker Cypress Road, Ste. 122, Cypress
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10:30 a.m.-midnight, Sat.-Sun. 9:30 a.m.-midnight