Wine on Tap: Cask 307 Classes Up Downtown Laramie
The building that was previously known as Madam Opal's has stood empty for a long time. The opulent and eclectic building has been the home of pop up shops and campaign headquarters, but no business has set shop up permanently until now. "One of the first things we did was paint the walls! There were some crazy color combinations," said co-owner of Cask 307 Mellissa Mortensen.
The business that would one day take the place of Madam Opal's began as a dream of two coworkers sneaking off after work to have their own wine club. "It was very exclusive," said Lesley Young, co-owner of Cask 307. "Just the two of us sneaking ing to the back room of what was then Snowy Range Dodge when we were done with work. We'd always talk about opening a wine bar."
The two said that work got particularly difficult one day and they said to each other "What are we doing," and the pieces started falling into place. Like a dream many of us have probably had while working the day away, these enterprising women made their back-room wine club dream into a reality.
"I think we nailed it," Young said. "It's funny to think back on the things we didn't know. Every day was a decision we had to make." The pair say that they feel bad about just how easily the whole process came together for them and how well their partnership flourished as the business was built from the ground up.
"We didn't meet any opposition that didn't feel like we couldn't overcome it," Mortenson said. "The things that I'm weak at, she's strong at." The third part of their equation came soon after, when their head chef Paul Matthews joined the team and brought years of experience with him. The owners say their favorite dishes on the menu are the bourbon fried chicken and the Ramen.
Another revolutionary thing about Cask 307 is the Wine on tap. "We do it in stainless steel kegs, so it doesn't mess with the flavor of the wine, it comes directly from the wineries themselves. It just cuts down so much more waste," Young said. "There's no where to recycle glass in Laramie, and we've been going through a ton of bottles, so it was really important to us to cut that down. Wine on tap was wonderful. It sets us apart. We're currently the only business in Wyoming carrying the stainless steel wine on tap."
Cask 307 is great for business meetings, the owners say: any night of the week dinner, date night, girls night out. "It's good if you don't know a lot about wine and want to sample. It's good if you want to have wine and hear each other talk," said Mortenson. "Seeing people so happy. People are embarrassed to come back every night of the week, but I'm like, Don't be! I'd be in your shoes!"
Mortenson and Young said that, if you're still on the fence about checking out Cask 307: "Check our reviews! Come try our food! There's something for everybody here! We have so much more than just wine."