Local couple opens Tannin wine bar

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Tannin wine bar, 125 E. Main St., offers wine, craft beer and small plates, in an intimate dining atmosphere. Owned and operated by Mary and Tom Curley, and managed by Terry Harris (far left), it will have a soft opening on Sept. 12.

Wine is a passion for local couple Tom and Mary Curley. A year in the works, the pair has launched Tannin wine bar with the hope of offering a high-end, yet laid back drinking and dining atmosphere for its patrons. Its soft opening is slated for Sept. 12.

“We were at Vino209 in Valley Junction with the kids one night, having a really nice time,” Mary Curley said. “It was just so relaxing and comfortable and I said ‘Why can’t we have one of these in Marshalltown?’ and my son-in-law Brock said ‘Well why don’t you open one?'”

Soon after, she and Tom started brainstorming ways in which to turn the concept into reality at 125 E. Main St. They fell in love with the space, which is part of the Kibbey Building, owned by Barb Hagstrand and Jeff Mitchell. The couple signed a three-year lease in January 2018 and got to work designing and planning what they wanted the 1,000-square foot space to look like, highlighting the tall ceilings and original hardwood floors.

They brought Isacc Wildman on board as a wine consultant, as well as their daughter Alli Johnson, who has a culinary background, to help plan the menu.

Neither Tom nor Mary have any experience in the restaurant industry. Tom is retired from Emerson-Fisher Controls, while Mary worked at RACOM for many years before owning and operating Mary Katherine’s bridal store.

“We both enjoy wine. We’ve made many trips to California to Wine Country and belong to many different wine clubs,” she said.

Wine (by the glass or bottle), craft beer and “small bites” including meat and cheese plates, are the staple menu items.

“For the wine, there are some familiar labels and some not so familiar,” Curley said. “Our quality is a tier above what you can buy in the grocery stores and discount markets. We’ll have everything from sweet whites to very dry reds.”

If wine is not completely consumed on the premises, staff can reseal the bottle and place it in what is termed a “wine doggie bag.”

“It’s sealed and you can take it outside without worrying about it being an open container,” she added. “Some people want to buy one bottle but don’t want to drink it in one spot.”

The establishment is managed by Terry Harris. He noted that the eatery’s selection of craft beer – which will include local and global brews – will be ever changing.

“We will have about 20 beers. Craft beer drinkers are used to (the menu) changing, because they try everything,” he said.

Harris is also planning to launch a wine club, sometime this fall.

“We’re working towards having a signature dessert on the menu as well, and the menu will evolve every few months – things will go off and things will come on,” she said. “There are no TV’s, we do have WiFi, and we’re hoping people will just come in and sit and relax.”

With a seating capacity of 49, customers can enjoy intimate seating at tables or on couches.

“It will be an evolution of change here as we go and grow. We think we’ll always keep it quaint and simple at this point, but who knows?” she said.

Tannin will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 4-close and may be reached at 641-758-3250.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at

641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com