Cork Gaming and Wine Bar officially opened in Flossmoor Commons on Tuesday, May 3, but the gaming portion isn’t in operation yet.
The wine bar has eight small tables with three chairs each. There’s a full bar for patrons to sit and drink wine and eat cheese, salads and other snacks served by Cork. It has two 55-inch TVs. Dozens of wine bottles are displayed on the wall. Four canvas paintings of wine glasses and wine bottles and a framed Juggernaut wine poster are also displayed.
What makes Cork different from other area establishments are two self-service machines where patrons can push a button to dispense their own wine and spirits.
The bartender gives patrons a card that functions as both their tab and the key to activating the self-service machine. Patrons can choose the amount of alcohol served from among eight wines and seven spirits. The card keeps track of everything purchased during a patron’s time at Cork so they can pay their tab when ready to leave.
“I went to a couple different bars when I went to Canada. […] I’ve seen these machines over there,” Cork owner Ronakkumar Patel said. “We already had a successful liquor store business in Homewood – which is Family Wine and Liquor. So, we were already selling good wines at the other location. And I was like, ‘okay, let’s try this idea over here in Flossmoor.’”
While there aren’t currently any slot machines at Cork, Patel said they’ll be adding a gaming room soon.
Patel said it took him “four or five meetings with the Village” to get his liquor license in Flossmoor.
“To his credit, Mr. Patel kept coming back to the board meetings with things that we asked for. So, when we finally approved the license, we all had it right,” Flossmoor Village trustee Jim Mitros said.
Mitros said Patel needed to provide in detail what a self-serve wine bar would look like before he could receive his liquor license. After seeing Cork at the grand opening, Mitros said he’s impressed with how it turned out.
Patel has help from family members when running his businesses. Patel said his father has been very supportive. Cork employs several of Patel’s cousins, and he’s looking to hire additional help in the community.
“It is absolutely beautiful in here. I think it’ll be a great hangout spot for folks who are looking to go out for a night with friends,” Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson said.
“It’s kind of like being a kid in a candy store
— except it’s being an adult in a really nice wine shop,” said Amy Kent, communications manager for the Village of Flossmoor.
About 30 people showed up to the grand opening, including Patel’s friends and family and Flossmoor village officials. A ribbon was cut to mark its official opening outside and then another was cut inside.
Cork Gaming and Wine Bar is at 19870 Kedzie in Flossmoor. It is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.