Splash Wine Lounge:
Kelsey Bair & Yali Ruiz

Kelsey Bair & Yali Ruiz,
Co-owners of Splash Wine Lounge

Meet the mother-daughter team revamping one of North Park’s longtime gems. They are problem solving through a pandemic to foster human connection and to make the experience of wine accessible for everyone.


What’s your message to your community?

There is no such thing as too much wine during a global pandemic. Hang in there! We are here for you. Oh, and wear a mask.


How can the community best support you?

They can buy our wines online for local delivery, pick-up or shipping across California! They can also visit us our bottle shop and enjoy a flight of wine on our soon-to-be installed parklet.


What has been your creative escape during COVID?

We’ve both been exploring new and old hobbies! Yali does a really cool Japanese-style of weaving called Saori that is all about embracing the beauty of imperfection and the unknown. Which is so fitting for 2020 and she’s been doing a lot of that lately. She’s also a prolific writer and finds a lot of creativity in her businesses. Being a freelance graphic designer and the in-house designer for Splash, Kelsey hadn’t had much time for personal creative work. But because of COVID she’s been re-inspired to get back to mixed-media, metal work and painting. She’s also working (very, very slowly) on a novel.


What has COVID taught you about connection?

Don’t take pheromones for granted! 😉 Splash has always been a place to slow down and truly connect with others in person, but we obviously can’t curate that same kind of experience for guests anymore. We’ve had so many people come to us, desperate for human interaction and connection so it’s inspired us to think of creative ways to do that in a socially distant future.

On a personal level, we’re both so grateful to have a wonderful community of friends and family around us that we’ve had more time to spend reconnecting with at a deeper level.


What place in your neighborhood are you excited to get back to? Why?

We really miss The Observatory and live music in general. We know it’ll take a while for gatherings to be what they used to be, but we really look forward to sharing space, dancing and enjoying great live music again.


If you were to write a book about 2020 so far, what would the title be?

The Grapes of Wrath 3.0


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