By Mallory Gleich, Donor
Long before it became a city on May 24, 1954, Chandler was little more than a collection of dirt roads bordered by twenty buildings.
One of these buildings housed the Chandler Hotel, which in 1914 was the affordable option for travelers over the San Marcos Hotel which was just down the road.
Fast forward a hundred years, and the Chandler Hotel is still there.
It housed many pharmacies, including Gardner’s, Dudding’s and Rexall Drug.
Today, however, it is home to an entirely different business: BlackSheep Wine Bar & Merchant.
Brad Ingarfield is the founder of Liquid Sunshine Projects, a group of concepts with a common goal: âto create unique social gathering spaces and imaginative experiences to bring diverse groups together and elevate communicationâ.
Murphy’s Law, Bourbon Jack’s, and now BlackSheep are all part of Liquid Sunshine.
Ingarfield said the building’s history inspired the wine bar.
âWe envisioned the free-spirited, adventurous and rebellious types who traveled all over to stay at the hotel in hopes of making a fresh start in Chandler,â said Ingarfield.
âOur team imagined what these people would look like, the friendships they would make, and how precious those friendships would have been to the adventurers and fortune-seekers who walked through the doors.â
History abounds as guests walk through the doors.
There are bullet holes in the cement floor, where legend has it that in 1921, when the space was a “men-only” hotel bar, a fight broke out when a group of women refused. to leave and continued to drink.
Ingarfield said that while a lot has changed over the past 107 years, the need to socialize and meet new people is not a new concept.
So, he said, the idea behind BlackSheep is that it’s a place where people can come together and bond around food, drink, and music.
The business opened in July, and while there is an extensive menu, wine is the star of the show.
âOur goal is to find great wines from small independent wineries locally and around the world,â said Ingarfield. âWe’re looking for wineries that share our vision of bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to share conversations and ideas. “
The BlackSheep team spent time traveling and tasting various wines to choose which ones would suit the new establishment.
Although they did not have the professional experience of a sommelier, the group of owners knew what they were looking for – and all had the same idea in mind.
“We didn’t want to be a wine bar just for wine lovers, âsaid Ingarfield. âWe want to eliminate the subtle snobbery associated with many wine-centric restaurants and bars. We want to make great wines more accessible.
At BlackSheep, 22 wines are available by the glass, of which 56 reds and 20 whites are available on the reserve bottle list. You can also enjoy bottled and draft beer as well as a long list of cocktails.
There’s a late night menu, brunch, and all day menu with items cooked up by âculinary adventurer and rebellious companionâ Ivan Diaz.
âIvan has put an incredible amount of passion into crafting a menu that matches our vision,â said Ingarfield. âWe see our guests as unique and adventurous – and if they’re not rebels, then rebels with a cause.
âWe wanted the menu to reflect the diversity of our guests and also facilitate sharing. We love the idea of ââa neighborhood party / dinner, so we mimicked that with our menu.
Customers can find grazing boards, “snacks” like burrata and crab cakes, bruschetta and paninis, as well as items like avocado toast and breakfast sandwiches on the menu. brunch.
âRecess,â or happy hour, is from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Wednesdays, bottles of wine are half price.
There is also a selection of “pasture boxes” which includes one with desserts as well as several pasta dishes, salads and paninis.
The restaurant will also host events in the future and eventually a shopping area will open up where customers can purchase BlackSheep and other products.
For more information visit blacksheep.wine.