Photos by Lisa Mullen Owners Lori and Gino Chiodo.
By Lisa Mullen
By launching Ruby’s WineHouse, owners Gino and Lori Chiodo will be introducing local residents to world-class wines and fulfilling a long-held dream of their own.
Named after their 2-year-old standard poodle Ruby, the wine house will offer a range of domestic and international wines from the likes of California, France, Italy and Spain.
“This is what we love to do. This is our thing,” said Gino Chiodo of North Fayette. “We love wine, we love people, We love hospitality. So why not put all those things together?”
The building itself has a storied history dating back to the early 1800s. There are still remnants of a distillery on the property that produced illegal moonshine during Prohibition when the site was known as Grub’s Restaurant.
“This is our dream. It’s going to be a fun journey for us,” said Lori Chiodo.
By 1933, It became Schmidt's Tavern, a shot and beer joint that served coal miners and railroad workers, since the Montour Railroad was right across the street from the tavern. Eventually the railroad tracks were converted into the Montour Trail, replacing trains with pedestrian and bike traffic. The Chiodos are hoping Ruby’s will be a stopping point for people using the Montour Trail to stop in, try different wines and grab a bite to eat.
Ruby's WineHouse in Findlay Township is slated for a grand opening in August.
The location is welcoming and cozy, with a wine bar and seating for 50 people. Guests will be able to sample a wine flight, which is a tasting of three wines paired by sommeliers.
If you particularly enjoy one of the wines in the flight you can buy more by the glass or the bottle.
Their selection of seasonal wines will rotate out every six weeks or so.
Select beers, premium cocktails and liquors including vodka, whiskey and bourbon will also be available. Customers looking for premium wine to take home can purchase up to four bottles from a to-go without needing to step inside.
Chef Ron Tarquinio, also of North Fayette, a certified executive chef and culinary instructor, will be offering his culinary expertise.
The limited menu will include charcuteries, small appetizers, pasta dishes such as shrimp scampi and spaghetti and meatballs, as well as Italian sausage sandwiches, meatball hoagies and the original fish sandwich that won the hearts of Schmidt’s Tavern customers. Chef Tarquinio’s menu will also offer homemade desserts including a divine tiramisu.
When the Chiodos first bought the building, it was in bad shape with water in the basement and in need of a full gut job.
“I’ve always been a big visionary kind of person. I see the potential in things. I didn’t look at what it was, I looked at what it could be,” said Gino Chiodo, who also owns Izzazu Salon and Spa in Pittsburgh and Warrendale.
Renovations include building an addition to create more dining space as well as creating a piazza and a patio outside. Both outside areas are dog-friendly, in honor of business namesake, Ruby.
Ruby’s WineHouse will have a soft opening on July 15th with a grand opening slated for mid-August.
“It’s been overwhelming with the support of wonderful people that have helped us along our path to get us to this point, including the community by cheering us on every step of the way. That is really important to us. We are so grateful for that,” said Gino Chiodo.
Ruby’s WineHouse is located at 3069 Cliff Mine Road, Findlay. Hours: Wednesday/Thursday 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday 3 to 11p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
For more information, rubyswinehouse.net.