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Flip Flops Wine Bar Opens In West View

Owner Becky Kahler is offering an alternative to traditional "shot and a beer" neighborhood bar.

Opening up a bar, mere steps from the competition might not be the smartest of business strategies. But Becky Kahler, manager of Flip Flips Wine Bar at 342 Center Avenue in West View has a strategy all her own. 

“I’m non-smoking,” she said. The bar next door is not. “I serve food.” The bar next door does not. “I have a lot of microbrews both on tap, and in bottles, and a wide variety of wines,” she added. “The bar next door is more a shot and a beer kinda place.” 

To be clear, Kahler isn’t dissing her competition, but simply offering an alternative. And she believes both establishments can be successful on their little strip of Center Avenue. 

“This place was always a bar. When it was Barrie's Bar, customers would go back and forth,” she said. 

But she had a different vision. “There’s a bar in Myrtle Beach, across from the Ocean, called Flip Flops. I added wine bar because I wanted to be a little more upscale. I’m geared towards the 30 and up crowd,” she said. 

So Flip Flops, which opened May 29, has a beach theme, and offers a menu that includes smelts, salmon burgers, beer battered fish, fried oysters, calamari, steamed clams, and for non-seafood customers, provolone sticks, pizza, steak hoagies and hot sausage. 

Kahler is no stranger to running her own business. She previously owned a consignment shop, a daycare, a deli, and a vending business. 

When she retired from the state store system in February, she decided to add bar/restaurant manager to her resume.

“I’ve been a bartender on and off for 21 years,” she said. “So I figured, why not?” 

Flips Flops is open Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m to close.

It's official grand opening weekend, featuring prizes, contests and a mystery guest is July 20-21.

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Kate McDunough March 06, 2013 at 10:55 PM
The creation of this bar and it's theme is wildly absurd and mock-able for the area of West View, as seen by it's cheap display of children's actual flip flops. Sticking out like a tacky sore thumb on Center Avenue, this bar also has atrocious customer service. Not only does the owner make no attempt to show courtesy or friendliness, she made her debut with rude and alienating behavior to a local business owner. Her giant orange jeep- hardly ever parked in the lot specifically made for building owners- blocks front patron parking. Disgruntled employees yelling on cell phones about other Flip Flops employees in front of the building is a treat. You may also experience some "charming" man guarding the back dumpster (possibly the ONE cook) scolding at locals on his cigarette break pertaining to parking. As if their dollar store decorations, thumbtack sized bar, and overpriced "seafood"-tasting like the frozen aisle at giant eagle- wasnt enough...this bar has been nothing but disappointing. The "shot and a beer" bar, Drinks, gets more customers during mid-day than a ghost town Flip Flops gets in a week...probably because the owner is nothing but friendly and accommodating- imagine that.

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