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.