4 Questions with Russell Fay, owner/operator of Cork Dork Wine Company

What’s the best part about moving into the new space on the other side of Cedar Avenue?

The new space has more elbow room, and the visibility of the shop is greatly improved. I also think it’s in a prime location to offer more convenience to customers. There is more parking, and it’s easier to get to.  And we’ll make it easier for people leaving Carbone’s Pizzeria or Bergan’s SuperValu to quickly pick up something to bring home.

How’d you come to the name “Cork Dork”?  What does the name say about the design and direction you have for your business?    

I was first called a “cork dork” by a liquor distributor when I was opening The Craftsman (4300 East Lake Street, Minneapolis) in 2004. He was trying to sell me on lower-quality wine that had a high profit margin. When I told him I wasn’t interested, he made the comment that I must be one of those “cork dorks” who wouldn’t compromise on quality. The name stuck.

What’s something you wish more people knew about wine?  

I want people to know that you can find good and bad wine in any price range. I view it as my job to find only good wine, especially at lower price points. Placing good values in a space with an unpretentious feel helps my customers trust that they get quality products at great prices.

Do you live in the area?  Any favorite local haunts that you frequent yourself?

I have owned a home in the Longfellow neighborhood for ten years, and grew up in the Camden neighborhood of north Minneapolis. I have the city in my blood and couldn’t be prouder. And since I have a background in the restaurant and hospitality business, I find that my favorite spots are usually “hole-in-the-wall” places that serve good, real food. For me, that includes Colossal Café (1839 East 42nd Street), Chris & Rob’s (3101 East 42nd Street), and anything in the Mercado Central (1515 East Lake Street).

4701 Cedar Ave So



Article by Adam Webster



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