Given the history of liberal open container laws in some parts of Texas, I guess I should not be surprised by the story that appeared recently in the Dallas Morning News.
In Fort Worth, a car dealership is opening up a wine bar that will have a two-story rack displaying models — actual cars — sold by the dealership. The idea is seen as a way of getting the vehicles in front of more eyeballs… and perhaps a desirable demographic.
But the display isn’t the only feature that will set Kent & Co. Wines apart. The wine bar also will serve as a dropping off and picking up point for dealership customers. In other words, if you need an oil change, you can drive to the wine bar, and your car will be transported to the dealership while you enjoy a glass or two of wine, perhaps accompanied by cheese or other nibbles from a small plates menu.
The marketing slogan possibilities are seemingly endless…
• How about a Cabernet with that carburetor flush?
• Tempranillo with that tune-up?
• Pinot Noir with that power steering service?
What was the, ahem, driving force behind the concept? Here’s what proprietor Frank Kent told the Morning News: “We have to be relevant with people. People see car dealerships as almost a necessary evil, almost like going to the dentist. And it’s a place they can’t really relate to. We’d like to become more of a conversation and a fabric of the community.”
It’s a concept that definitely has people in and around Fort Worth talking.