Clayton and Valerie Chelley weren’t necessarily hunting for a wine bar when they kept strolling past the building at 810 Duval Street.
The pair of bartenders, married for nine years, sought to carve out their own niche in the Key West bar scene.
“We walked past this space many times, and there was something about it we both liked,” she explained.
After navigating the city’s permitting process and recruiting friends from around the globe to lend a hand with construction, Vinos on Duval opened for business September 24, 2010.
The cozy space includes racks and rows of varietals from around the globe as well as comfortable nooks and seating areas.
The hottest seats in the house, however, are the rockers along the front porch – one of the best people watching spots in the Southernmost City.
“On busy nights, those seats go very quickly,” she laughed.
Vinos quickly partnered with neighboring bistro Croissants de France to provide cheese plates as the perfect accompaniment for wine tastings.
Valerie also deployed her knowledge of the business to host a few monthly events, among them Stiletto Night and a Monthly Community Cook-off.
On the last Wednesday of every month, Stiletto Night allows Key West women to strut their sexiest shoes along the red carpet while perusing the products from vendors like Arbonne.
In advance of the second Tuesday of every month, Valerie and Clayton announce a featured bottle and invite guests to bring their favorite dishes to share with friends.
Finally, Vinos offers a unique delivery service by the bottle or case for homes, hotels and bed and breakfasts in Old Towne.
“Our loyal local customers really bring a lot to this place,” she continued.
Their model of providing a comfortable space for anyone to try new wines is one that’s proving successful for the pair. Though a hard date is yet to be set, Vinos in the Grove is slated for opening in the near future.
“I’m definitely a Key West girl at heart, but Coconut Grove offers the same type of sidewalk dining at atmosphere,” Valerie explained of the couple’s decision to expand.
Located at 810 Duval Street in Key West, Vinos on Duval is open from 1 pm to midnight 7 days a week, except Sunday and Wednesday when they open at noon. Call (305) 294-7568 or visit vinosonduval.com for more information.♦ End