Plant City is finally home to a quintessential wine bar. Roots is hosting its Grand Opening this Friday at 5 p.m.
When you think of downtown Plant City, the first image that comes to mind is of antique shops and railroad tracks. One couple is hoping to change that image by becoming the first wine bar to open up shop in town.
Brandon Snyder and Jerilyn Rumbarger will officially open Roots Tap Room & Wine Bar’s doors at 5 p.m. tomorrow. The bar, located at 101 S. Evers St., fills a hole Plant City has left empty for years. It wasn’t until the efforts of Plant City Main Street led to the April change of the city’s alcohol ordinance for downtown that a business like Roots could theoretically exist, let alone become a reality. Now, Snyder said, they’re hoping to prove it’s a business model that will start a pseudo renaissance downtown for enterprises, specifically those focused on keeping downtown alive after 5 p.m.
“This was something I envisioned doing years ago,” Snyder said. “I wanted to get back into the restaurant business and we started thinking about it again recently. We live here. This is where we want to be. So the idea is, if we live here, we want to make it a fun place to hang out. Hopefully this will show Plant City can sustain a business like this, that we won’t have to live in a place where you have to drive to Brandon or Lakeland or Tampa to go out and have a fun night with your friends or your family. We want a place like that here, but we still want to make it family-friendly.”
Rumbarger echoed the sentiment and added her 7-year-old son is a crucial part of their dynamic. Anything they do, they do with him in mind.
The benches of the booth in the back lift up and board games can be pulled out for your entire group to enjoy. There will be a wide-variety of special events held all year long, and they said every member of the community will always feel welcome when they walk into Roots. Whether it’s bottle share nights, tap takeovers or wine tasting nights, Roots is sure to be a highlight of the community out of the gate. The bar will also be open for rental if anyone wishes to book a party or event at the location.
“Really, we want to be that place in Plant City where everyone wants to go and hang out with their friends or have a relaxing night out with their family,” Rumbarger said. “There’s nothing like this in town, and I think once people try it out, they’re really going to fall in love with it.”
It’s an intimate venue with enough tables and bar stools to maintain a blossoming vibe, but not so many as to feel overcrowded. The bar is also dog-friendly and there will be several tables outside on the sidewalk for people to enjoy a craft beer under the stars.
Stepping inside is reminiscent of walking into one of the many wine bars that have made St. Petersburg and Tampa such popular destinations for cantina enthusiasts. One-of-a-kind woodwork fills every inch of the taproom, transforming the rustic brick venue that used to be an antique store into a cultural hub. An impressive 16-and-a-half foot oak slab bar fills the left side of the room, beckoning people to pull up a chair and find their new favorite brew.
All of the interior wood design was envisioned and created by Chris George of Southern Shores Wood Designs. Snyder said he is one of the best woodworkers in the industry, and he handed over the reins allowing Roots to “be his canvas.” Everything from the furniture to the shelving and the walls was built by hand.
Part of the appeal of Roots is its tranquility. This isn’t a massive bar that takes up the entire block. It’s an intimate venue where you have the opportunity to join a community. Bartenders can greet you by name and you can shake hands with your friends that you’ve spotted enjoying a robust glass of wine in the corner over a rousing game of UNO.
Snyder has also ensured the menu is unlike anything you’ll find nearby. There will be eight rotating craft beers, a 20-bottle wine list and four wines on draft. Whether you have a simple palate or are up for an adventure, Roots will have the perfect selection.
As a tribute to his father Dean Snyder, a community leader for whom the annual Dean’s Ride event is named, Roots will have one special menu item that will make an impact in the community. Simply titled,“Dean’s Pick,” the order is a bottle of Tenuta Luce along with two very special glasses.
“He died in 2013 of esophageal cancer,” Snyder said. “His favorite wine ever was Luce. It’s this ridiculous Super Tuscan that is impossible to find. Well, one of my guys found me six bottles of it, so we have Dean’s Pick on the menu in his honor. It’s our most expensive item, it’s like a $240 bottle of wine, but we’re also throwing in two wine glasses. My dad was such a freak about his wine glasses. He was so down to earth, but with his wine glasses, he was super pretentious. He would get those super thin ones and my mom would always break them when she was washing them, and it would drive him crazy. So if somebody orders that bottle of wine, we’re going to give you two of those wine glasses as well. It’s just a little nod to Pops.”
All proceeds of the purchase will go to Dean’s Ride, which benefits the YMCA Livestrong program to help cancer survivors maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Though it won’t be up and running during the grand opening, the bar will also soon have charcuterie and grilled cheese sandwiches available for anyone who wants a delectable side dish with their fresh pour.
While Roots has been on the horizon for months, Snyder and Rumbarger said it’s definitely been a learning experience for everyone involved. This was the first business to come to town under the recent ordinance alteration. Everyone learned as they went along because no one has walked the path before them. They said they were thankful the city has had their back and helped them through the process. Now they’re ready to open their doors and let the public experience what Plant City has waited decades to finally have in its own back yard.
“We want this to be everyone’s third place,” Snyder said. “Your first place is your home, your second place is your work and your third place is where you go to hang out. We want Roots to become a part of your life, to be where you make memories at and really just where you feel comfortable at. My roots are Plant City, and while I moved around for a while, this is me coming back to my roots and making a place in my hometown for everyone to enjoy.”
Who: Roots Tap Room & Wine Bar
What: Grand Opening
Where: 101 S. Evers Street
When: 5:00 p.m. Aug. 30 to 12:00 a.m. Aug. 31
Social: Follow Roots Tap Room & Wine Bar
on Facebook and Instagram
Sunday to Wednesday: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday: 1 p.m. to 12 a.m.
*Hours are subject to change