A Place To Call Home
Tammy Zickuhr entered the alcohol industry at the age of 18, serving drinks at a local bar.
“I wasn’t allowed to serve mixed drinks, but I was allowed to serve beer,” Tammy said. “Back then they let you do crazy things.” Ever since that first experience, Tammy knew that her heart was in serving others. “My natural ability to do things is in service. I love to serve people, see their expressions, and put smiles on their faces, trying to make their day a little bit better.” She has since had a variety of other professions, including owning her own window cleaning and janitorial service that she and her husband still run, but Tammy hoped to one day make it back to the world of alcohol. “People get confused that we’re believers yet we own a tavern,” said Tammy, “but as a people person, it’s the best way to reach others.”
When a spot opened up for sale downtown, Tammy jumped at the chance to make her dreams a reality. “Honestly, I did this whole thing backwards,” said Tammy. “I didn’t know how to open a brick and mortar, especially with alcohol, so I started remodeling before permits came through.” After three months of renovations, the city put a halt to Tammy’s progress. That stall lasted for about two months. Then after receiving her ABC license, Tammy was almost in the clear to open; however, on the 29th day of her 30-day posting, someone decided to protest opening the tavern. That put Tammy an additional 45 days behind. “It was a learning process for me. When everything started to finally get back into motion, Covid 19 hit. We were supposed to have a soft opening on March 30, but that obviously didn’t work out too well.”
Tammy seemed to hit just about every road block imaginable. “I did a lot of praying and talking with my husband,” said Tammy. “I asked the city of I could still open up my doors and do curbside pickup to at least give Harry’s a shot.” Taking a complete leap of faith, Harry’s Wine Depot and Tavern opened its doors on April 17. “People found out we were delivering and offering online ordering, and we could not believe how Brentwood came together and helped us out. It blew us away. I give God all the glory, but I give Brentwood a lot of credit.”
Harry’s Wine Depot and Tavern offers a variety of red and white wines, mostly French styles and one local favorite from Frankie Favalora. “I consider him local because the grapes come out of Oakley, but his winery is in Livermore.” With a handful of local wineries in Brentwood and the surrounding areas, Tammy decided not to carry their products in her establishment. “It’s not because I don’t like their wines. I think they’re all amazing, but why would you come to me when you can go directly to the source?” To set themselves apart, Harry’s offers wines that can only be found by ordering directly from distributors. Harry’s also carries beer, which was not originally part of the plan. “We were only supposed to have eight beers on tap, but with the pandemic, the beer was moving a lot faster than anything else,” said Tammy. So, Tammy and her husband expanded their beer selection to include around 36 beers with four of them on tap. From stouts, IPAs and double IPAs, to ales and blondes, Harry’s has something for every beer lover.
In addition to the beer and wine, Harry’s also carries a handful of ciders. “We don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” said Tammy. “Brentwood Craft Beer and Cider specializes in cider, and we don’t ever want to take anything away from them. We all work as a great team down here.” Tammy has made it clear that Harry’s will not do specialties such as mimosas or Bloody Mary’s during the Farmer’s Market because other downtown establishments specialize in those options. “We all know what everybody’s doing, and we don’t interfere with each other’s business. That’s what I love about Brentwood so much. We all stick together and respect everyone.”
One of Tammy’s greatest hopes is that Harry’s will become like a second home to people in the community. “We have a lot of firefighters, police officers, and military men and women who have made Harry’s their place of comfort,” said Tammy. “We have a wall inside the tavern with the American flag hanging on it, along with a blue line and red line, and individuals come in and put their patches on the wall. It’s our job to give them a safe place and let them know that we support them.”
With Covid 19 restrictions still in place, Harry’s Wine Depot and Tavern now has all new outdoor furniture with comfy couches, chairs, tables and firepits. They also offer barrel tables with barstools on their back patio. Despite the world currently being filled with uncertainty, Tammy hopes to continue to serve people and make Harry’s a permanent spot to visit and return to time and time again. “I just want to continue having fun and serving people.”
Business: Harry's Wine Depot & Tavern
Address: 761 Second Street, Brentwood, CA 94513
Tel: (408) 318-0881
Photos by: Ron Essex Photography