By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 22, 2020 at 9:09 AM

A new business called Scout Wine Merchants is prepping to open in the former Thief Wine space at 4512 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood in mid November, according to co-owner Emily Laga.

In addition to offering a curated selection of wines by the glass and by the bottle in its tasting room and bar, Scout will have a bottle shop that will also sell spirits like whiskey and tequila, and beer (which will also be sold at the bar).

There will also be ready to drink options for the non-drinker.

An on-site marketplace will offer cigars and packaged food items, like specialty olive oils, salts, spices and sauces with, says Laga, an emphasis on unique, specialty foods with global flavors and small batch producers.

According to its website, Scout, “will offer an eclectic selection of our favorite wines discovered from vineyards around the world for the casual to curious drinker, or more discerning enthusiast. You'll be able to enjoy wines by the bottle or glass, along with a curated collection of spirits and beer to take home or sip from a seat at the bar, or in the lounge or tasting room.

“We'll offer small bites, snacks, foodstuff and cigars, along with a few uncommon market items to pair with your beverage of choice or to enhance your pantry’s culinary character.”

Laga will run the place in conjunction with her husband Luke, who owns Structural Elements orthopedic wellness clinic directly across the street, and with General Manager Jake Hansen who previously worked at Third Coast Provisions.

The vibe will be a bright and airy market combined with an eclectic, casual lounge and tasting room.

Bar stools and other furniture are being created by a local artisan especially for the space, which will boast a secret, speakeasy-like tasting room.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.