GREENWOOD, Ind.– Paul Jacquin and his wife, Laura, are devoted wine lovers who always loved going to Napa Valley and dreamed of one day opening their own wine shop right here in Indiana.
So, they did.
Paul traded in a long career in banking for a historic home built in 1904 that they turned into Vino Villa. Located at 200 N. Madison Avenue, this beloved Greenwood wine bar and bistro is preparing to celebrate 10 years in business this September.
But right now, we’re celebrating summer– and patio season– and there’s no better place to enjoy both.
We’re headed to a southside staple on this trip In Your Neighborhood.
“Originally, it was planned to be just kind of a wine shop,” explained owner Paul Jacquin. “But as we were building it and working it out, what we found from the passersby and residents locally is that they were really looking for a place to come and hang out.”
These days, you’ll find the wine shop on the first floor of the building.
As a long-time wine lover, Jacquin takes pride in offering a variety of wines.
He says on any given day, the shop has around 500 different labels.
“Pretty much any varietal that you can think of and a lot of the ones that you can’t, you’re going to find inside the shop,” he noted
Also on the first floor, you’ll find a case of decadent desserts.
The selection rotates daily and includes things like M&M chocolate cake, carrot cake, praline goat cheese cheesecake and the summer favorite lemon blueberry cake.
Floors two and three include the restaurant and bar area, which features a classic and cozy Italian ambiance perfect for a date night or girls’ night out.
On the menu, you’ll find things like a prime rib sandwich, Mediterranean steak salad and other favorites.
“The lasagna is a fan favorite around here,” he said. “On the starter’s menu, the baked brie with some maple walnut crostinis has also been on the menu pretty much from the time we open almost ten years ago.”
One of Jacquin’s personal favorite items is a new addition to the menu, called the BLMT.
“It’s a peppered candied bacon with fresh mozzarella, tomato, lettuce and a garlic aioli sauce,” Jacquin explained.
And no meal is complete without a perfect wine pairing.
“Sauvignon Blanc is a great summer wine [or] the drier rose coming out of France are particularly tasty during a hot summer afternoon,” he suggested. “For hanging out and having pizza on a Friday night, a nice peppery Zinfandel is a good choice. Of course, [for] an elegant steak dinner with the wife, hard to go wrong with a California Cabernet.”
Then, head outside to play some bocce ball on their new bocce court.
“The bocce court is one of our newest additions. Unfortunately, it got put in right before COVID cut loose on us and hasn’t seen a tremendous amount of use just yet,” said Jacquin. “But this summer it’s starting to pick up a little bit as people start to feel more comfortable and some of the restrictions [are] being lifted.”
Or take in a perfect summer day—or night– with some shareables and a glass of wine on the patio.
“A lot of live music that happens just off the patio space,” Jacquin said. “And during a bright sunny Thursday Friday Saturday afternoon, this place gets pretty hopping.”
Four Things You Need to Know About Vino Villa:
- Paul Jacquin and his wife [and longtime south sider], Laura, are wine lovers who always dreamed of opening their own wine shop. However, that idea expanded when they opened Vino Villa almost 10 years ago. “We started off just doing small plates, but now we do full-blown meals… weekend specials. That’s kind of where we started and where we are today,” Paul Jacquin said.
- The bistro style restaurant and wine bar is set inside a historic home built in 1904. Now, the first floor is home to the wine shop, the second floor is restaurant tables and seating and the third floor features more restaurant seating as well as their bar area. Outside, you’ll find a bocce ball court, a gazebo and plenty of seating on their patio, where they often have live music performances.
- Not only is Vino Villa a popular spot for a night out, it’s also very popular for proposals and even weddings. In fact, the owner is ordained and has even officiated a spontaneous wedding on the patio.
- The business is growing! They recently purchased the property right next door and are currently transforming it into a café that is expected to open around September. “And [our pastry chef] Jordan is going to move over to the café and continue to make all of the desserts that you can buy here along with some unique selections.”
For more information about Vino Villa, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out the restaurant’s Yelp page. You can also connect on social media via Facebook and Instagram.
While in Greenwood, check out these other local favorites: