By, Ashley LeBlanc
Patio Dolcetto is an upscale wine bar that opened their doors on the first day of October in 2015 off of Cheatham Street. Their quaint location is perfect for the concept, and they have been very successful in being a unique addition to our growing town.
These two young entrepreneurs, Ryan Bolter and Jean Paul Jafari, purchased the 90-year-old house in 2013. It was a CPA office when they bought it, but the two “ultimately wanted to do a wine bar” says Jafari. After renting out the offices for a short time, they decided to remodel the place and follow their dreams.
Jafari and Bolter met in the second grade in Arlington, Texas. They both moved to San Marcos to attend Texas State University. Bolter finished his degree at UT Arlington while Jafari graduated here in San Marcos.
Bolter later returned and reunited with his friend, “we fell in love with the area here; back then there wasn’t much going on in the town,” recalls Jafari of the quiet days in San Marcos, years ago. “The people here are very welcoming.” He says and that he really enjoys the “small town” feel.
It also helped that when getting the licensing the City really liked the idea of a wine bar, making the approval process a breeze.
Now the two are running Patio Dolcetto, and quite smoothly it seems. The bar features around 90 wines at all times that they often rotate. They also have 4 beers on tap and lots of craft bottled beers as well.
Their extensive menu has a variety of wines to choose from Reds include Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rich Reds, Dry Reds, Red Blends, and a selection of wines from around the world lightest to boldest. Whites include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Chardonnay, Summer Whites, Moscato, Reisling, Sweet Whites, and of course a selection of wines from locations across the world. If you want to try a variety at once, they offer a flight option and you can choose three wines that come in half glasses. Some wines are by the glass, and some are only by the bottle.
Patio Dolcetto hosts wine tastings monthly with the occasional bi-monthly tasting. You can find these events on their Facebook page.
When asked how they chose their wines, Jafari replied with a laugh, “We had a lot to drink.” Jafari says his favorite winemaker is Orin Swift Cellars. They wanted to feature unique wines that you can’t find in your local grocery or liquor store.
Their beers on draft include local breweries, like Middleton and Live Oak, and are also serving the brand new, first and only production brewery in San Marcos – Altmeyer & Lewis Brewing Co. They rotate often but appreciate supporting local breweries. Patio Dolcetto has a diverse selection of craft bottled beers for a very reasonable price and feature locally brewed beers from Real Ale, Jester King, and Ranger Creek.
Its menu includes a unique selection of wine-based cocktails such as the Mexican Martini. No hard liquor is included, but its taste will make you think otherwise.
Not only is the selection of wines and beers unbeatable, but they also have a gorgeous interior and patio space.
When you enter through the front or back, you will notice the area is very cozy with approximately 850 square feet of drinking space. There is a patio with an upstairs portion that doubles the capacity size.
Inside the bar, they feature paintings, sculptures, bags and other art pieces by local artists. Bolter and Jafari originally found the artists on the square at Art Squared. From there the word spread and they now feature a hefty variety of art that decorates the room quite nicely.
The first piece they sold was by artist David Davis. Davis was an art major at Texas State. The original piece was made up completely of Jolly Ranchers and was in the form of a female physique.
Not only do they showcase a piece by the artist on-site. But they also have tablets scattered around the room where you can browse the rest of what each artist has to offer.
The local artistry isn’t the only beautiful feature of the bar area. The bar top and indoor tables are made up completely of pecan trees that grew alongside the San Marcos River. Imbedded in the bar top tree is a greenish-blue mixture of mineral fragments, such as turquoise and jade, that model the San Marcos River as if you were looking at it from above.
The bar has seven employees, with bartenders that cater to guests indoor and out. They also rotate tapas chefs, and you are guaranteed to find one there Friday and Saturday and occasionally during the week. The tapas chefs prepare exquisite dishes, but when they aren’t on-site, the bar always has a snack menu including a cheese plate with hand-picked cheeses by Bolter and Jafari.
Bartender, Kyle Hughes, says he loves working at Patio Dolcetto and his constant welcoming smile says it all. His favorite thing about working there is “the environment, it has a certain ambiance that brings people here and it opens the door for networking.”
The bar offers 10 percent off for teachers on “Teacher Tuesday,” and they also offer 10 percent off for patrons who bike there to open up parking spaces. In addition to their back parking lot, they have another lot a block away that you can find by following the signs.
Jafari says after opening the bar, what he has enjoyed the most is “getting to know the locals and patrons” and that the whole experience “has been a lot of fun”.
If you want to check out their menu and featured art you can visit their website at www.PatioDolcetto.com.