Chow Town

January 15, 2014

Ryan Sciara to open Crestwood wine shop

The co-founder of Cellar Rat Wine Merchants left the Crossroads shop six months ago. Now he will open Underdog Wine Co. at 319 E. 55th St. in March.

Chow Town

The daily dish on Kansas City's food and drink scene

Nearly six months ago, Ryan Sciara left Cellar Rat Wine Merchants, a retail shop he co-founded in the Crossroads Arts District in 2006.

He has spent the months as a stay-at-home dad with his daughters, Lola, nearly 5, and Luca, nearly 3, while working on a new wine shop concept. First it was a deal that would have put him in the front room of Aixois restaurant in the Crestwood Shops. Then that deal fell through when the space couldn’t be converted into a separate business.

Then he got an offer from a wine importer offering him a job as regional manager covering 14 states. While he was out celebrating the offer over lunch with his wife, Sciara got a call from a Crestwood leasing agent offering him a space, just a 3 1/2 minute walk from his home.

After listing the pros and cons of the two career choices, Sciara decided on his own shop.

“If I didn’t do it I would have been walking by this space every day wondering what could have been,” he said. “I’m just enamored of these shotgun stores. They have a great feel. You’ll be surrounded by wine.”

Underdog Wine Co.

is scheduled to open in March at 319 E. 55th St., specializing in wine from “underdog” vineyards.

“Not the everyday wines you see in grocery stores, chain stores. Smaller productions,” he said.

The shop, which will be open daily, also will offer craft beers and spirits, and perhaps gourmet salts and chocolates.

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