A few feet past the gateway into Chicago’s Fulton Market District lies a boutique wine bar—Joe’s Imports. The space is intimate and inviting, with warm woods, cozy banquets, aged brick and contemporary European furnishings throughout. Joe’s Imports invites guests to uncork worldly bottles of wine from Joe’s curated selection inspired by his travels, while passing plates of modern Mediterranean noshes. Joe’s goal is to take each guest on a vacation through each sip of wine. Read below to learn about Fulton Market’s newest boutique wine bar.
Who are you?
Joe Fiely, operating partner, wine director of Joe’s Imports, sommelier, wine-lover and traveler.
How long have you been in the neighborhood?
Joe’s Imports has been in the West Loop for a few months, since mid-February 2019. Look out for our bistro-like patio soon!
Why the West Loop?
Our Francesca’s Restaurant Group owner, Scott Harris, had Glazed & Infused Doughnut Shop right here, and the space opened up. We agreed that an intimate wine bar with great food was absolutely perfect for this hot neighborhood.
What are your top challenges in growing your business?
Reading people’s needs, understanding what people want and PARKING!
Why did you join the West Central?
We joined West Central Association in the hopes of building a strong relationship with our West Loop neighbors. Any chance that Joe’s Imports can be part of the community, whether it be attending or hosting events for our fellow West Loop friends, we’re going to jump at it.
What makes Joe's Imports unique?
We bring in a lot of wines that nobody else has. I have really good relationships with winemakers around the world, so I have the opportunity to bring in wines that you won’t find anywhere else.
What gets you up in the morning?
Bubbles! And… the responsibility to run a restaurant and “turning people on” or changing people’s lives—hearing someone say, “Wow, I never thought I’d like pink wine”.
What’s your favorite part of the West Loop?
Brunch at The Publican, Liz Pierce’s cocktails at Aba, oysters at Swift & Sons, the list goes on and on.
What does Joe's Imports' future look like?
Turning people onto wines they’ve never had before, and that moment of relating food with wine to understand the relationship between the two.
Describe Joe's Imports in 140 characters or less
A great glass of wine that you maybe have never had before, paired with a plate you would have never thought would go with wine, leaving people with my motto of “food on the table, wine in the glass”
Bonus Question: Tacos or pizza? Go.
Pizza—it’s more Italian. I’ve been lucky enough to have the best pizza in the world in Naples, Italy.