Explore BIPOC Wines and More at The Urban Grape

Urban Grape owners Hadley and TJ Douglas have expanded their business from Boston to the Shaw neighborhood. Photo courtesy of The Urban Grape.

Boston’s beloved award-winning wine store, The Urban Grape, opened its first store outside Massachusetts in January at 1301 Ninth St. NW. Urban Grape is the nation’s largest certified Black-owned alcoholic beverage retailer.

Since the pair opened their first storefront, founders TJ and Hadley Douglas have worked to “build a community around [their] tasting table” with the goal is to take the intimidation out of wine and to create an experience inviting and relaxing for all. At their new location, they plan to continue “building community through beverage.”

The Urban Grape is also the number one seller of wine produced by people of color in New England. Now, its founders look forward to introducing underrepresented labels to DC residents.

“We grow with our community, our community grows with us and it’s just such an awesome feeling to be a part of something bigger than just your business,” TJ Douglas said of their Boston community.

“When we say we want to build community through beverage, it’s not just the community that are our neighbors that are buying wine from us. It’s also the community of other wine people and brewers and distillers and farmers from around the world. We can really use our platform to help build their businesses and tell their story,” Douglas added. 

The Shaw location features a 20-foot-long tasting table, which facilitates large gatherings and community building. Urban Grape’s founders have developed a proprietary system of categorizing wine called The Progressive Scale. Rather than focus on regions or varietals, this spectrum categorizes wine based on its viscosity. Bottles are organized from light to medium to full body.

The Urban Grape is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 8 p.m. Visit theurbangrapedc.com for more information about upcoming tastings, events and product availability.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com