Last weekend saw the two-day soft opening of Oso Market + Bar, a new wine shop/bar/restaurant/specialty foods market that went into the freshly renovated space right next to Dig A Pony at 726 SE Grand. (Another intriguing new neighbor in the building is the Russian Kachka, opening later this fall.)
Opened by former House Spirits distiller Colin Howard and his wife Holly Johnson (a longtime Bishops employee), It's bigger than I expected, a long hall of white tile and wood floors with shelves upon shelves of painstakingly researched bottles (with prices that range quite a bit), a long bar and table to roll up in for a quiet sandwich 'n' wine lunch, dinner, snack. There's also a small but intriguing collection of specialty grocery items, cheese, and charcuterie. The menu is somewhat meat-centric (I stuck with a perfectly fine salad), and it's lighter, small-plates type fare, perfect for a little post-work nip with someone whose conversation you actually want to hear. They're all done experimenting and ready to roll: permanent hours start tomorrow, in case you're itching for a new spot to put on rotation.