How did we get here?
Webster's Wine bar was founded in 1994 by Janan Asfour and Tom MacDonald who took a much-needed break from their litigation consulting jobs and embarked on a four month backpacking tour through Europe. While there, they fell in love with the tiny wine bars clustered around the cathedral in Seville, Spain. After returning to Chicago, they quit their jobs, borrowed money from friends and family, and opened Webster's Wine Bar in its original location in Lincoln Park. Two decades later, in the summer of 2014, Webster’s moved to 2601 N. Milwaukee Avenue, right in the heart of the historic & hip Logan Square neighborhood. And then in 2020, Janan and Tom teamed up with former Webster’s employee Tonya Pyatt and her husband Nik Wells. Since then, this foursome has carried on the wine bar’s defining traditions of the past while continuing to improve wherever and however we can. Today Webster’s Wine Bar remains an institution in Chicago for providing a deep list of thoughtful wine selections, a carefully curated beer list, a selection of super high quality spirits, and delicious food to complement it all.
What do we love?
Since opening in 1994, we have always searched for wines made by small, family-owned producers who focus on quality while being stewards for the environment. We strongly believe that wines made with minimal intervention (no additives or chemicals) are always not only more genuine but also obviously superior to wines that are heavily manipulated. While the “natural wine” movement is sometimes trendy and fashionable, the philosophy of minimal intervention is a very old concept, consistently employed by many of the best wineries in the world. More importantly, wines produced in this manner can truly speak about a particular place. Sometimes, they can even scream about their place of origin (Riesling in the Mosel Valley or Pinot Noir in the Cote d’Or come to mind, as do many others...). These wines have personality that can inspire your taste buds and your soul. And that's what we love!
Why do we love what we love?
Over our 30 years, our passion for wine – and all other fermented beverages for that matter - has grown as our incredible team continues to visit “farmer-producers” all over the world in order to learn and experience what makes a wine, beer, or spirit great. We’ve muddied our boots in vineyards throughout France, Italy, Greece, Spain, USA, Austria, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Slovenia, and more, with the specific purpose of getting a first-hand look at the vineyards and to directly experience the region’s history and culture. This is crucial to truly understanding and appreciating the uniqueness of any region and the amazing fruits of its land. And one of our greatest joys is to be able to bring those experiences back to Chicago and our customers through the drink selections we offer, the recipes we use in the kitchen, and the stories we share of our adventures.
So, come on in and let us guide you through some unexpected wines that we’ve found off the beaten path, or just relax and enjoy some tasty food and a cocktail. Either way, we’ll be happy to have you!