If you are sitting in one of our cafes, look around you. Aside from the chair you might be sitting on (and in some case even those), everything you see was built by our hands. Every booth, every table, every counter, shelf, wine rack, window and door frame, you name it, it was was built by us. There were no fancy architects or designers or carpenters. Just us, our friends and our families. Economically, this is dumb. Yet, it is the heart of what makes Barriques what it is. These places are deeply personal to us. They are great and they are flawed and we wouldn’t want to have it any other way. When we refer to them as our eight children, despite each having several of the ‘real’ variety ourselves, we are kinda not kidding.
We opened Barriques in 1998. The short version of why we opened our little wine store at 1831 Monroe St, because there is no long version, is that we became convinced there was a better way sell and share wine with people than existed in Madison at the time. This interest was born from experiences we had in wine shops in other cities and, in Finn’s case, during the long hours of selling wine in the many restaurants he had worked at. Shortly after walking past a vacant storefront on what was then sleepy Monroe St., we became shop owners.