Pour On Roy earns Local Flavor Award for Ashton White and Lawrence Charles Red house wines
by Melanie Jongsma, with Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (February 28, 2023) – If you’re looking for a wine bar where you can feel comfortable whether a connoisseur or just curious, Lansing’s family-owned Pour On Roy is worth a visit. The upscale wine bar opened in April of 2021 to provide an “elegant but not overpriced” space for people to gather. Their house wines are approachable, and their “small bites” are substantial. Both are an example of the unique local flavor this Lansing establishment offers.
Owner Amy Todd — one of five siblings who entered the venture together — does not consider herself a wine expert, but she has learned a lot along the way, and she likes to serve as a guide for people who need it, offering free samples so customers can find a wine they like.
“That’s the part of this business that I really like,” she said, “is to help my customer find something that they really enjoy.”
Pour On Roy offers more than two dozen wines, some of which are seasonal, and many of which have already become customer favorites. “The house wines are a good place to start,” said Todd.
Not only do the flavors of the house wines please a range of tastes, but the wines themselves emphasize the family in this family-owned business. In the first business they have all owned together, the Todd children and their spouses named their house wines after their parents.
Signature red house wine: Lawrence Charles Red
Named after the patriarch of the Todd family, a tough and gregarious southside truck driver who lived in Lansing for 30 years and passed away in 1995, the Lawrence Charles Red is a smooth blend of 50% cabernet, 45% petite sirah, and 5% merlot. While cabernet wines can be earthy and dry, the Lawrence Charles Red manages to balance those notes with a subtle fruitiness that is not overly sweet. For newer wine drinkers who want to move beyond the popular sweet wines but are afraid of the dryer red wines, Lawrence Charles offers an easy yet mature option.
Signature white house wine: Ashton White
The Ashton White takes its name from the Todd family’s mother’s maiden name — Patricia Ann Todd, nee Ashton — a smart and approachable woman who passed away just months after Pour On Roy opened. The Ashton White is composed of 63% chardonnay, 20% viognier, and 17% sauvignon blanc.
Between the two house blends, the Ashton White trends to the sweeter side, and includes flavor nods to wildflowers, herbs, mango, green apple, papaya, and grapefruit. The blend is another good introduction to a dryer flavor for those who may typically prefer riesling or moscato varieties of white wine.
The hand-finished flat-sawn tables and bar create a comfortable, polished-yet-rustic atmosphere. Most of the tables are bar-height, with seating for small groups of 2–6 people. Two table-height tables can seat 6 and 8 people. A few stuffed chairs surround a coffee table to create a comfortable conversation zone. Gaming is available in a private room, and local live entertainment is scheduled occasionally.
- Pour On Roy allows patrons to purchase bottles of wine to go, all of which can be opened in the restaurant and resealed to take home. Food can be ordered to go as well.
- On Wednesdays, Pour on Roy offers all of its wine bottles — save the reserves — for half price.
- Six different craft beers are also on tap, and those rotate according to availability. The beers come from local brewers such as One Trick Pony (Lansing) and Evil Horse (Crete). Bottled beers and sodas are also available.
- On nights when live entertainment has drawn a crowd, service can be slower than usual, but staff members remain in good spirits, and patrons do too.
- Pour On Roy also hosts private events for families and businesses. The space fits up to 60 people comfortably.
- Plenty of parking is available. Six spaces on Roy Street are shared with Mancino’s next door and OooWee Chicken to the north. Pour On Roy patrons may also park on the west side of Roy (along First National Bank) and, if visiting after business hours, the bank and post office parking lots are available.
In 2020, The Lansing Journal published an article about the Todd family’s decision to open Pour On Roy in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Nominate your favorite Lansing restaurant (click to send an email)
- Lansing Journal launches Local Flavor Awards
- Local Flavor Awards (current listing coming soon)