English Merchant’s Parlour open its doors publicly

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

On Friday, Dec. 5, the English Merchant’s Parlour held its grand opening for the public to attend, after having various soft openings throughout November. 

The Parlour is a new wine bar with a limited food menu for folks to pair with their wine of choice. 

Owners Mary and Howard Baskin also own The English Merchant’s Inn – Bed and Breakfast. Before opening their new wine bar, the Baskins opened the inn, naming it after an English merchant who built the building.

Mary Baskin enjoys a cocktail from the Parlour.

“About two or three years into the business [The English Merchant’s Inn], we’ve been there five years this coming March, I was approached by a wedding venue who came to an open house, and they were like, 'Oh my gosh, you have all these things and the china and the flatware, can you do rehearsal dinners?,'” shared Mary. “Because of the B&B restrictions in Waxahachie, we’re not allowed to do that. We can do a few, five a year, and they kept saying we needed a big space. So we looked at a number of different places when this building became available. I was like, ‘This is it. I can make this work.'”

The English Merchant's Parlour holds a ribbon cutting, hosted by the Chamber.

The business was affected by COVID shortly after opening, however. 

“So we opened as an event space in mind ... We were just getting up and running and COVID (hit). So we sat here for about four or five months empty,” stated Mary.

Having time without business, Mary thought about the wine bar she always wanted and began to plan for her dream by converting the event space she had.

The wine bar is filled with blue furniture and English inspired art.

“The other dream I’ve always had was to open a wine bar. So I convinced Howard, let’s apply. Let’s get our beer and wine license, and we can do a little food. Once they ease the restrictions, we can at least generate some income,” said Mary. “So we pressed on that vein, and here we are.”

The wine bar held soft openings for three weeks, before hosting a grand opening, which had a great turnout, with the Waxahachie Chamber coming out and holding a ribbon cutting ceremony.

”We have beautiful Christmas cocktails that we’re serving that are wine based. We have English beer and wines that are organic from around the world from various small vendors. So it’s not something you can get at the grocery store and buy. So we’re kind of an English vibe, but we’re kind of taking off on the British sixties, so we have a lot of great music going. People are really enjoying coming in and relaxing.They seem to like the space,” shared Mary.

The wine bar includes Spanish and French wine, made by a local in Waco. 

The English Merchant’s Parlour is located on 109 North Rogers St., with British flags hanging on the outside of the building. 

The bar is open on Thursday from 5-9 p.m., Friday from 5-10 p.m., and this Saturday, the Parlour is trying something new by opening earlier at 2 p.m. and closing at 10 p.m.

“There are a lot of people on the square I’m finding, and so they can come in and have a glass of champagne or a Christmas cocktail,” said Mary.

Additionally, the Parlour allows the St. Marks Anglican Church to hold service at its bar on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. 

To take a look at the menu, visit https://www.englishmerchantsparlour.com/ .