With small plates, good wine, and a one-of-a-kind view, Vines on Broadway makes for a cozy summer destination located right in our own backyard.
Nestled near the Old Munichburg area of Jefferson City at the 500 block of Broadway sits a restaurant with a picturesque view of downtown and a prime location off Highway 50: Vines on Broadway. This spot features handpicked wines and homemade tapas, also known as small plates, with a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere in an authentic and laid-back setting.
Guests can wine and dine with friends on the front porch, inside the refinished home, or on the back patio, which features a one-of-a-kind view over downtown and is outlined with a fence for privacy, lit with cozy lighting, and accented with seasonal plants and homegrown vegetables.
Vines on Broadway greet their guests with comfortable and eclectic furniture, artwork, acoustic music, warm fireplaces, lit candles, and a collection of beautiful stained-glass pieces by Lorie Smith, who owns the place.
“The wine bar brings me joy,” says Smith. “I love unique décor, and the wine bar allows me to be very creative while showing my ‘corky’ side.”
Smith is constantly refreshing her space with vintage and new décor accents. From the furniture to the artwork, she makes changes based on the seasons and her mood. The patio has misters, a seasonal water feature with lilies, and whirligigs.
Smith makes the tapas herself, prepared fresh-to-order with locally grown or purchased ingredients. The menu is small yet ever-changing, providing variety to her exceptionally loyal and local customer base. While Smith is active on Facebook, most of her customers learn of the wine bar from friends and local recommendations.
“I always serve ‘Slap Ya Mama shrimp’ based on requests from customers,” says Smith, “which is shrimp in butter, garlic, and Slap Ya Mama seasoning. We are also known for our famous goat cheese balls with pecans and dates dipped in white chocolate.”
When it comes to beverages, Vines on Broadway serves a handpicked selection of beers and wines. While the kitchen is small and storage is limited, Smith carries wines from all around the world, with bottles from Italy, New Zealand, Germany, Argentina, France, California, Spain, and Sicily.
“While the selection is not large, I have one choice of each varietal I serve,” explains Smith. “For whites, I carry chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, riesling, rosé, and Prosecco. For reds, I have red Moscato, red blend, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, merlot, and pinot noir.”
Smith wants her bar to be a place of relaxation and connection. “Vines is a place for the chardonnay moms to get together and deconstruct their week,” says Julie Schroeder, a customer at the bar and Jefferson City resident. “It’s a perfect place for date night or double-date night where there are no televisions to distract you from the one person you want to focus on the most. It’s a place for gals at the office to meet after work on a Thursday to share a bottle of wine and snort about their jobs. It’s a place for certain Munichburgers to meet and strategize about the organization. It’s a place for book clubs to meet. Middle-aged Harley bikers staying at the [Baymont by Wyndham] hotel have turned the patio into their own mini meet-and-greet party space.”
One might be surprised to learn Smith did most of the work herself in order to meet the city requirements for the building. With the help of her family, they created a fire barrier between the downstairs and upstairs with two layers of sheetrock, a steel door, and a wall, while creating a space of her own with new chandeliers, lighting, and paint colors.
Vines on Broadway is open Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The space is also available for private parties such as birthdays, weddings, and baby showers outside of normal business hours. Smith even had the pleasure of hosting a drive-by socially distant 80th birthday party on the patio this spring during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The highest compliment I have ever been paid was from a French customer who told me that the atmosphere reminded her of the south of France,” says Smith. “And to that, I thought, Mission accomplished.”