Yeah, we have a cheese bar now. The Wedge & Wheel has opened up in Stillwater as a cheese shop/bar just off the main street.
There's an airy feel to Chris Kohtz's tiny shop, due to the huge sunny windows and spare but classic blue and white design. Cheese doesn't need a lot of fringe, people. There's only a few small cases at the counter, but they are packed to brimming with cheese, salumi, and artisan products.
Sure you can sample before you buy, just like any other cheese shop, but these guys really want you to think of them as a cheese bar: a place where you can settle in and hang out with the cheese. What that means is that you can order a flight of cheeses (be they American regionals from say Vermont, a selection of European beauties, or a caution-to-the-wind selection chosen by the cheesemonger), an adult beverage (bottles of local beer, small list of wines), and cop a squat at one of the cafe tables while you really get to know the cheese. The flights are nicely sized portions, the Curd & Cured option I chose came with a pretty big hunk of Humboldt Fog, some La Quercia prosciutto, a Wisconsin gouda, and some Italian salami with sliced baguettes and fig jam for $13. That's my perfect lunch. There's also a daily grilled cheese sandwich option—the one I had with Kingsley cheddar on seedy bread was just the right amount of gooey.
The selections of cheeses themselves have some great breadth, from local Star Thrower Farm Tomme to the Pyranees' Abbaye de Belloc which I'm fondue-addicted to. There's a lot to love, but there's not the sprawling depth of selection, just yet. Only open for a few weeks, W&W has big plans that include classes, tastings, private events and of course, more cheese.