Craft Corner

THE WINE SOURCE Growler Bar and Service Carts

Baltimore, MD  |  Completed 2015

Professional Photography by Larry Canner Photography


The Wine Source is a beloved establishment in the Hampden neighborhood, where neighbors pop in not only to pick up beer, wine and spirits, but also their local coffee, a fresh baguette, or possibly a snack dinner. At any given moment the store is buzzing with activity and familiar faces. Which is why we were asked to transform a little-known filling service tucked into a back room, into a experience. The Hillman Tap Room, named after the owner’s departed friend and partner, offers a chance to sit, sample the latest craft beer on tap, and talk with the knowledgeable staff about all things beer. 

 As you come into the Wine Source, you are met with a large check-out counter. Follow it around the corner and it opens to the tasting bar. As part of the project, the materials of the main counter were upgraded to create a seamless pallet. The steel straps and oak slats evoke the construction of a fermentation barrel. To provide off-counter storage, a standard retail hook rail was integrated into the cladding of the counter’s face, allowing the option of merchandising without clutter. 

For the bar to work, it needed to be adjacent to the back-of-house staff areas, attached to the walk-in cooler, and easy to find. It was also important that stepping into the Hillman felt like a break, away from the rush of shoppers grabbing that quick bottle before a party. 


For a busy retailer, the store never sleeps. The staff grows, offerings grow, and the space must keep up. After offering wine tastings atop empty barrels and placing new team members on laptops in the middle of aisles, we got a call. Could we design custom furnishing that would act as desk or wine tasting station, one that could be used in conjunction with a row of others, or alone as needed?  

Mimicking the construction of a wine barrel and adding a durable quartz top, the carts can be used to store dirty glassware or computer keyboards. Removable steel shelves add to the flexibility. For an after-hours event, they can be used in a row to create a temporary bar. These little carts offer a lot of adaptable functionality to support the dynamic needs of the store.