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Popping the cork on a new Amarillo venture
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A remodel here will create two entities — one a new wine bar.
Panhandle PBS

By Karen Welch — Senior Content Producer

A new wine bar soon will occupy a slice of South Georgia Street.

McKinney restaurateur Mike Baird is joining with an Amarillo partner to create Uncork’d Wine Bar & Grill. He declined to name the partner at this time.

Baird’s companies operate several separate Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations in Amarillo. His Pizza Hut sites include the Georgia Street outlet.

The Uncork’d project calls for the remodeling of the Pizza Hut/Wing Street structure at 2509 S. Georgia St. to morph it into a center with two separate restaurants.

“When you drive past that site (after the remodel) it will look like two endcaps,” Baird said, referring to end spaces on commercial buildings. “Very unique, separate businesses. Pizza Hut is just basically subletting to another one of my companies.”

Uncork’d will take the larger space when contractor CKP Construction completes the renovations, Baird said.

The city of Amarillo issued a permit Tuesday estimating the construction value of the project at $175,000. The work includes the addition of cooler space for the new wine bar.

“Basically, we’re going to be taking our Georgia Street Pizza Hut location and sizing the Pizza Hut down. It will be skinnied down,” Baird said. “Then we’ll take the other side of the building and actually expand it. I’m partnering with someone to create just a local wine bar and grill in Amarillo that’s going to be very nice and elegant.

“We will have a very limited menu, very great food, comfortable atmosphere. We won’t be ‘high-end, table cloth’ — just a simple local neighborhood every day kind of wine bar.”

Karen Welch is a senior content producer for Panhandle PBS. She can be contacted at, at @KWelch806 on Twitter and on Facebook. Subscribe to the Panhandle PBS BizHere podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud to hear more business news and interviews.