Local Wine Shop/Bar 'Swirl On Castro' Changing Ownership

We learned this morning that Swirl on Castro is in the process of being sold to new owners. Husbands Jerry Cooper and Chris Von Laufen opened their wine shop and wine bar in 2005 at 572 Castro St., a space formerly home to Friendly Spirits and Liquor Express. Now, 11 years later, Cooper is selling the business, which also offers beer and spirits, to employee Casey Bowers and Bowers’ partner, Sabeen Minns.

In his email to Hoodline, Cooper said that he is excited to pass the business on to his close friends. "Our regular customers are happy that I opted to keep it ‘in-house, so our queer-centric wine bar, inclusive of everyone, will remain unchanged, a lively humor filled community meeting place."

According to Cooper, Bowers has been an employee at Swirl for five years. “I’ve had the pleasure of being somewhat of a mentor to Casey,” wrote Cooper. “[He’s] now an accomplished winemaker.”

The shop hosts a number of events and tastings.

“Swirl has been a second home to Casey and I,” wrote Minns, the shop's new co-owner. “Casey has learned so much in his time here, and I am looking forward to working closely with the whole team to help Swirl in its next chapter."

"We are honored that Jerry has decided to entrust us with this community gem. We will keep it shining and vibrant, as it has been the last 11 years."

Open nightly, the wine bar has a selection of 20 wines by the taste or glass.

Bowers and Minns will officially take over responsibility of Swirl on Castro in early December, and Cooper plans to stay on full-time until the first of January to aid in the transition. Swirl’s current employees, including the general manager, will remain at the shop under the new ownership.

After January, 61-year-old Cooper said that he’ll continue to consult in the wine industry, and will be doing wine bar guest appearances next year. “I will move from one side of the bar to the other: all my friends are here."

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