40 Cannon is thriving. When Poughkeepsie’s downtown live-work-play apartment center opened in 2018, it brought with it an influx of opportunities. In no time at all, empty floorplans became chic artist apartments while retail spaces transformed into hopping businesses like King’s Court Brewing Co. and Gallery 40. Transfiguring vacant spaces to colorful businesses, the development brought a new vibrancy unlike anything the city has seen before.
Yet still, something was missing. A wine bar-sized something, to be exact.
Cue the Becks.
Comprising husband-and-wife duo Russell and Elke, along with their son, Kai, the Becks are the driving force behind 1915 Wine Cellar, the upscale wine bar that moved into the lower level of 40 Cannon St in February. Although the family had long dreamed of opening a wine bar, it wasn’t until they came across the renaissance happening in Poughkeepsie that they decided to make a serious go of it.
“We recently downsized and, with Kai getting married this year, it seemed like a good time to make the jump,” note Elke and Russell.
Jump they most certainly did. After committing to the space in 2018, they officially opened the doors to 1915 Wine Cellar on February 8. Unlike other wine bars in the Hudson Valley, 1915 distinguishes itself as one influenced by European palates. True to their roots, the Becks pull their inspiration from personal experiences living in Europe.
“Our love of wine began in Europe, where Elke was born and [where] we lived for a number of years,” the family says. After traveling Europe extensively and speaking with a number of wine producers and industry insiders about their passion for the craft, the Becks brought that spark back to Dutchess County. Playing upon the heady wine culture that thrives within the Hudson Valley, the family carves a niche for itself by serving a highly curated selection of European vintages inside a modern, industrial space. They forgo the notion of a typical bar, instead opting to merge it with a living room setting that lures guests with a crackling fireplace and plush seats. Further inside, restaurant-style tables and freestanding wine barrels provide even more nooks for visitors to mingle and unwind.
Of course, wine isn’t the only thing to try at 1915 (although you most definitely should get a glass). Thanks to Kai, who has a passion for beer, the bar also serves a very streamlined selection of brews and ciders from brands like Bissell Brothers and Graft alongside its wine list. Add to that a number of artful charcuterie boards and passersby have every excuse to spend a few hours catching up with friends or relaxing after work.
While Poughkeepsie’s newest wine bar is still warming up to town, it already has big plans in mind for later in 2019.
“The city is in the beginnings of a renaissance, and we want to be part of that,” the Becks enthuse. “We want to weave ourselves into the fabric of the city by partnering with the various civic and commercial organizations for events and special offerings.”
Speaking of special offerings, those will run along the lines of wine 101 courses, tastings with local and international producers, and even pop-up restaurants with area chefs. The Becks also hope to expand their wine list and create a more developed culinary program to harmonize with 1915’s wine-loving roots.
So how about a glass of the good stuff? Whether it’s cabernet or chardonnay you crave, 1915 has just the vintage for you.
40 Cannon St, Poughkeepsie
Thurs-Sat 3-11 p.m., Sun 12-8 p.m.