October 2019

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina Invited You to Wine and Dine at The Other Sister's Wine Bar

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: M.Kat Photography


The Other Sister’s Wine Bar is located in Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina.

Are you craving an escape from your hectic day, celebrating a special occasion, looking for a place to connect with a friend, or scouting out a cozy spot for date night? Don’t waste another second before heading over to The Other Sister’s Wine Bar at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. It’s the perfect venue for happy hour, lunch, or dinner and is even open for breakfast/brunch on Sundays.

Besides an eclectic selection of wine and the variety of menu options, TOS offers the wining and dining experience of your choice. Whether you sit outside for the casual ambiance, grab a seat at the outdoor bar for refreshment with a view, cozy up in a private booth inside, or settle in at the indoor bar for a cocktail or tasting, you are sure to find exactly what suits your mood.

“It’s a place to come, talk, socialize; we’re not a sports bar,” said Mia Allen-Ayanian who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Kevin. “We’re here for the wine aficionados and those who don’t know anything about wine. We don’t want anyone to be intimidated.”

While TOS is decidedly casual, Kevin and Mia, who recently celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary, encourage connection and romance. So, if it’s a special date for you and your significant other (or a “make-up night” or “say you’re sorry night,” Ayanian suggested), let them know so they can create the ambiance you desire. (Ask about the couple’s corner when you make your reservation.)

But don’t hesitate to stop in with the family. There’s play space outside within clear view of the dining area and something on the menu to please every palate.

Indoors offers a slightly more elegant vibe, but not fancy or stuffy. The walls serve as a satellite gallery for the Hilton Head Art League with all art for sale and rotated out quarterly. Ayanian is a strong believer in community support and collaborative efforts, so she’s excited to promote the local artwork by displaying it in her restaurant with all proceeds from sales going back to the Art League. “If you see something you love, get it now, because it may be gone when you come back,” she said.

The intimate indoor bar includes a small television for those inclined to catch up on the news or tune in to a favorite program. Yet patrons who prefer a quiet, screen-free evening will find the peaceful atmosphere of the main dining room just right for conversation. “Whether they choose to sit indoors or out, I want people to feel relaxed and comfortable,” Ayanian said.


Greek Salad with shrimp paired with a house vinaigrette.

Wine and much more
While the Ayanians are passionate about wine, they are equally excited about the broad selection of food offerings (charcuterie boards, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, dinner entrées, desserts) and additional libations they provide. The restaurant boasts a fully stocked bar, presenting a cocktail of the day and other specials along with daily $10 wine tastings (includes four tastings of your choice) and reserve tastings, priced accordingly, by request. “I’m flexible with anything and everything,” Ayanian said.

The name, “The Other Sister’s Wine Bar,” which reflects Ayanian’s obsession with wine, was inspired by her family of origin. Always the baby, with two much older sisters, it was as if Ayanian had three mothers growing up, she said. While she is close to her sisters, she didn’t inherit the same musical and artistic talents, so she’s always been “the other sister.”

But little sister has been busy following her own path and nurturing her unique interests and gifts. She enjoyed a 16-year career in the U.S. Navy in the Office of Financial Operations prior to pursuing her dream of owning a restaurant where she could share her love of wine. She and Kevin, who is retired from a sales career and also a wine enthusiast, moved to Hilton Head Island two years ago to bring that dream to fruition.

With a military background and many travel opportunities over the years, Ayanian has been on a lifelong mission to learn everything she can about wine, down to the finest details of how it’s made and how its flavors are derived. In fact, when she first considered opening a restaurant 10 years ago, she thought she wanted to make her own wine. But after spending time at some vineyards, going out into fields to pick grapes while being eaten alive by mosquitos, she decided to leave the winemaking to the vintners.

Ayanian continues to explore vineyards and educate herself on the nuances of wine. “It’s a collaborative of being stateside and going overseas, talking to the sommeliers and the winemakers; it’s such a beautiful art,” she said.
“In the past, people were really stomping grapes under foot, then later pressing, then building machines that actually crush the grapes with slates of stone so that the flavor has a different twist,” she explained.


The interior dining room features paintings by local artists which can be purchased on site.

“The grapes change, too, and it’s based on environment. There’s a lot to it, even scientifically. It’s fascinating,” she continued. “I feel like a wine geek sometimes. But it’s those little things that people don’t know that often make a difference in their appreciation of it.”

Now that the crowds are thinning out, fall is the perfect time to enjoy the extensive wine list, tantalizing menu, gorgeous water views and stunning sunsets at The Other Sister’s Wine Bar.

“I want people to know we’re here,” Ayanian said. “We’re just steps away from the marina, with a fabulous view from our outdoor bar and great food. We invite you to try different wines—see what you like and what you don’t like—discover what you’re passionate about in the wine that we’re serving. And if we don’t have what you like, let us know! We’ll get it.”


The Other Sister’s Wine Bar is located at 13 Harbourside Lane, Unit B (Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina) on Hilton Head Island. Hours of operation are Tuesday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. with happy hour from 4-7 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit www.toswinebar.com or call (843) 715-2004 for reservations. Follow on Facebook for daily drink specials and upcoming events.

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