Our unique concept: to combine wine buying with wine tasting in a casual and fun atmosphere. So, you can sip, nibble, or drink at our traditional Zinc-countered bar while shopping for affordable, off-the-beaten-path wines in the retail store. The focus is on unpretentious wine exploration. Whether you’re a novice wine drinker, or a well-seasoned one, we offer something different for everyone. With the help of our knowledgeable staff, we can help you customize a flight of wines and cheeses to match, pick out a glass to sip on, or help you choose the perfect bottle of wine. The casual environment and rustic feel encourages you to ask questions and try new and different wines from around the world.

The Atmosphere

The setting is simple: imagine wine tasting in a traditional winery in Europe combined with relaxed lounge seating.

The Bar….the 14-person large stone bar itself is topped with a zinc counter found in many European wine bars or taverns. As you’re sitting at the bar, your view above is of a chalkboard listing 40 wines that you can order by the glass, half-glass (we call “taste”), or bottle. Behind the list of that week’s wines are wine barrels framing the bar. Apart from the bar seating, which fills up rapidly, are our wood-topped wine barrels surrounded by comfortable couches and chairs.

Meet the Team

Ken Mills, Founder / Principal

Before opening the first Wine Steals location in Hillcrest, Ken Mills had extensive experience in the food and beverage industry; he worked in various restaurants and bars around San Diego, including Hornblower Cruises where he was the Food & Beverage Manager for 12 years. Through his experiences traveling through Europe and working in the Food & Beverage Industry, Ken devoloped a love for wine and wanted to share that love with others.

Utilizing his ingenutiy, and after much collaboration with his wife & business partner, Wendy, the Wine Steals concept was born!


TashaElkovitch, Corporate Wine Buyer

Tasha Elkovitch graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Journalism.  But like many graduates entering the workforce, she was still unsure of the career she wanted to embrace.  A friend was self studying the world of wine, and this piqued her interest.  So she packed up and moved to Boston to work in fine dining restaurants and enroll in the WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) program at Boston University’s Elizabeth Bishop Wine School.  After completing her Advanced Level WSET certification, she moved to San Diego.  Like many wine professionals in San Diego, she started out working the floor at the WineSellar & Brasserie, honing her skills for selling high-end old world wine.  She kept studying wine in her free time and went on to complete the CSW certification in 2006 (Certified Specialist of Wine) in Napa.  That same year she joined our Wine Steals family, and helped us to open 2 more locations in San Diego, where she worked her way up to her current position as Corporate Wine Buyer.

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Jeff Cunningham, Wine Steals Executive Chef

Jeff Cunningham is a true renaissance man. Born and raised in Nebraska, Jeff struck out at an early age to find the world; in his very diverse experiences, Jeff has worked in construction, law enforcement, served in the United States Navy, been a galley cook, and finally settled into his current position as Executive Chef at Wine Steals.

As a part of the opening team for Hillcrest, Jeff has been a vital and vibrant part of our organization from the get go. Never shy with his opinions, Jeff has helped to continue to move and motivate Wine Steals from the very start. If you love our pizza, thank Jeff.