Wine Bar/Restaurant

 

Our wine bar & restaurant is a sophisticated (but fun) place to bring friends or to meet new ones. Explore a new wine by trying a flight, or let our servers guide you through our hand-curated by-the-glass list. Our regulars love to grab a favorite bottle from the shelf and have us open it in the wine bar for just a $12 corkage fee. We also have a ton of great craft beers available, with a few local options on draft!

Torrey & Jennifer Bingham

 

Torrey and Jennifer Bingham met in college, when Torrey spent his summers running the Crystal View Café on the shores of Crystal Lake, and Jennifer studied abroad in Australia, where she discovered her calling amongst the vineyards. In 2008 they got married in Frankfort.

They moved to Chicago where Torrey worked as a sales manager at a safety engineering company and Jennifer was the Wine Director at a boutique wine shop. By the time she was 24, Jen was on Michigan Avenue running the hottest wine bar in the city as ENO’s Wine Director.

Torrey’s job brought them to Tampa in 2009, where Jen worked as a wine distributor. One of her clients was selling his wine shop, so together Torrey and Jennifer took the plunge. They remodeled the space in order to add a wine bar. At first, it was just the two of them, with Jen pouring wine and Torrey making cheese plates and scrubbing dishes in the back. Today, Cru Cellars in Tampa has doubled its seating capacity, grown its staff of sommeliers, and added a full kitchen with an award winning menu. They are very proud that Cru has been voted the Best Wine Bar in Tampa Bay four years in a row. Taking their experience home to Frankfort and opening Cru Cellars on Main Street is a dream-come-true for them both, and they are excited for a great fifth Summer for Cru Michigan!

Jennifer Bingham

Jennifer Bingham

Owner

Jennifer Bingham grew up in Dublin, Ohio, but her passion for wine was sparked while she was playing hooky from school during a semester abroad in Australia. Jen moved to Chicago in 2004 after graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University. After a few stints at a couple of wine shops, she went to work at Que Syrah, a boutique specializing in small production wines. Despite being only 23, Bingham was soon promoted to Wine Director. Following that, Jen was the Wine Director at ENO wine bar on Michigan Avenue, managing a list with over 650 producer-driven selections from around the world. Torrey and Jen married in Frankfort, MI in August of 2008, and decided to make the move to Tampa in 2009 to escape the brutal Chicago winters. Currently, Jennifer is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She has also achieved the Advanced Certificate in Wines & Spirits through WSET (the Wine and Spirit Education Trust).

Torrey Bingham

Torrey Bingham

Owner

Torrey Bingham met Jen in college, where he would try to impress her on dates by properly pronouncing the words “cabernet sauvignon.” During Summer breaks, he would head to Northern Michigan where he ran a lakeside hamburger shack called the Crystal View. (After managing the Crystal View’s staff of reluctant teenagers and its clientele of mostly sandy, tantrum-prone children, Cru Cellars has come to feel like a vacation for him.) Torrey moved to Chicago after graduation and worked for years as a sales manager at an industrial safety engineering company. Meanwhile, he was going on more dates and wine tastings with Jennifer, where he was introduced to new wines and strange new concepts like bringing your own wine to places with less-than-stellar wine lists. While he has no intention of swearing off beer forever, nowadays he’s just as likely to reach for the fun and the complexity of a quality, terroir-driven wine.