Craig Williams, the entrepreneur who owns and operates Tuscaloosa's Avenue Pub and Central Mesa, has announced plans to bring a new concept to the downtown scene -- a sit-down wine bar featuring drinks by the glass, bottle service and bottles to go.

Williams joined Caitlin Tubbs of Hamner Real Estate in a Facebook video to announce his plans to open the the Central Wine Market as soon as restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic are lifted.

"We're going to bring downtown its first unique, intimate, funky wine bar," Williams said. "I think we'll be open as soon as everything gets back to normal. We're far along in the process of licensing and all that fun stuff, so as soon as it makes sense we're going to swing our doors open."

Williams said the bar will open on Greensboro Avenue next door to Central Mesa where the Carpé Vino wine shop used to do business.

The new bar will seat around 40 people and offer roughly eight reds and eight whites by the glass, more than 100 labels for bottle service and bottles to go. There will also be light food available, Williams said, like charcuterie boards and gourmet cheeses.

Like Williams' two restaurants, Central Wine Market will highlight the beauty of downtown Tuscaloosa, emphasizing the building's exposed brick, french doors and more.

The goal is to create a space where people can not only discover and purchase fine wine, but an intimate space where they can enjoy those wines on the spot.

"We want to really focus on the dine-in and people coming in a having a couple glasses of wine before date night or a group of friends getting together to just enjoy a Sunday afternoon," Williams said. "Really stay true to what we've done in our other two places and make it a sit-down place where people can come and have a great time."

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