(Photo by Holly Quinn)
If you walk around downtown Wilmington regularly, you’ve seen the signage on Ninth Street, between WhyFly and the Residences of Mid-Town Park: something called Girard & Faire that looks like it’s taking over the old Bottlecaps building, something about an entrance on Girard Street, which is generally thought of as a back alley facing a parking lot than a street.
So, what is it, and can you go there without a secret knock?
Girard & Faire is a new project by The Mill founder Robert Herrera, in partnership with Stitch House co-owner Dan Sheridan that includes a classy (but affordable) wine, spirits and craft beer shop, a fresh grocery and a grab-and-go sandwich shop. Faire, the grocery/grab-and-go, will be facing Ninth Street; Girard, the beer and wine shop, faces Girard Street around the back.
Girard opened in April. Faire should be open by June. The concept will all make more sense when both are open: Faire has had a couple of holdups, including the selection of BBQ Locale, another Sheridan joint, landing a 30-day spot at the DE.CO popup.
Girard & Faire solves several problems in downtown Wilmington. It will offer fresh groceries all the time — the Rodney Square Farmer’s Market is only once a week for part of the year, and tends to draw more lunch and craft vendors than farmers selling produce — including produce and dairy, and it will offer beer, wine and liquor adjacently. Delaware, of course, does not allow alcohol and groceries to be sold in the same place — so, they’re two businesses separated by a transparent wall with entries on opposite sides of the building.
“It will be convenient for people who live downtown,” said Rebecca Parsons, The Mill’s director of operations, “as well as people who work in town, giving them a place to stop to pick up groceries for dinner on their way home.”
On Fridays, Girard holds free wine tastings from 4 to 7 p.m.
Prices at Girard are competitive (about $10 for a six pack of Dogfish Head Namaste White, comparable to Total Wine), and the aesthetic, unsurprisingly, is similar to The Mill, with stylish lighting and a minimalist-rustic feel.
Here’s a peek at the project:
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