Cork & Brew looks across the historic brick Main Street at City Hall in the heart of historic Downtown Commerce. Established in 2019, Cork & Brew is a wine bar and pub owned and managed by Paul Rhodes and Rose Selvaggi Rhodes, a US Air Force veteran and a Commerce native.
The couple undertook a complete renovation of the property in 2018 and 2019. They first found damage from an earlier fire in the interior ceiling boards. As they peeled off the building’s layers of history, they discovered original ceiling tiles and the building’s distinctive skylight. Though the 131-year-old white oak flooring could not be repaired, the business incorporated some slants beneath the Bois d’Arc bar top.
Standing as one of the oldest properties remaining of 1889, the 131-year-old building at 1136 Main St. location has seen a variety of different uses throughout its history.
Beginning in 1909, the building housed Phillip’s and Anders’ Grocery Store, offering delivery with its two horse-drawn “hacks” and boasting of lower prices offered on a cash-only basis. Knight, Sparkman, & Co. fine clothing operated out of the storefront during the 1920s. Erwin Home and Auto Supply made a brief run (1945-6) before Jack Chapin set up Chapin’s 5 and 10 in 1947. The Chapin family opened up a real estate business behind the store in 1963, ultimately closing the store and moving their real estate operation to 1404 Washington St. in 1971.
Over the following five decades the storefront saw a variety of businesses including White’s Auto (1972-1979), Chaney’s Antiques (1983-1989), a Martial Arts Studio (1990), and furniture storage. The location endured multiple periods of vacancy before its restoration.
On November 4th, 2020, Cork & Brew formally opened its doors.