Snack & Savor

Let your worries melt away at SummeRay, a new wine bar and eatery with locations in Lake Havasu City and Kingman. Offering a laidback vibe, small plates to share and 287 different wines to sip from a comfy chair, stress checks out at the door.

Owner Summer Tilgner and her husband Theron Tilgner, have both served Lake Havasu through their medical practices for more than 20 years. Now, they are serving the community with this new venture.

“My husband and I have been foodies for like 20 years,” Summer Tilgner said. “We go out of town and do something we call appetizer shuffle, where we’ll go to all these different places and have just an appetizer and a drink and then go to the next place. Every time we went out of town, we’d find a wine bar and we just loved the concept. So I think Havasu just really needed something like this.”

They took notes from their travels and created a space back home with their favorite ideas.

“Tapas, or small plates, is what we like doing — we’re appetizer people,” Tilgner said. “We thought it would be fun for people to be more loungey, instead of like a dinner destination. It’s more like hangout with your friends, order an appetizer, talk for awhile, maybe order another one, share it, get up and try the wine dispensers and just do it at your leisure. It’s a girls hangout, guys hangout, couples hangout — more like before dinner or after dinner. We do get a dinner crowd, but it’s a very relaxed dinner crowd.”

The name of the bar, as well as some of the décor, is in tribute to her late father Ray, who passed away shortly after Tilgner had purchased the building to begin renovations for her wine bar.

“When this building came up for sale, I came over and looked at it,” she said. “I wanted it, but it needed so much work, so I was thinking and thinking about it, but I finally decided to buy the building. Then six weeks later my dad passed away and I was like, ‘I don’t think I want to do this anymore.’ It just seemed like too much work and I just didn’t feel like I wanted to do it. So I put it up for sale but then COVID hit and it sat for eight months without anyone looking at it. By the time we got an offer, I had changed my mind again and decided I was going to do it.”

With renewed energy, she overhauled the building and began adding her special touches, including a 1954 yellow Plymouth Belvedere, which belonged to her dad and is now the centerpiece of the bar.

“The car got incorporated along the way,” Tilgner said. “It was a car I got for my dad 12 years ago. A friend of mine helped me turn it into a bar. It was kind of a cool way to create a bar that’s fun and different.”

Another unique thing about this wine bar, is guests can help themselves and taste several different wines on tap with a pre-purchased tasting card.

“We have a variety of champagne, whites, reds — pretty much everything,” Tilgner said. “We have 24 dispensers, so we try to rotate them out every couple of days. You buy a tasting card and then you can walk up and choose what you want. There’s a 1-ounce, 3-ounce or 5-ounce pour. So if you aren’t sure if you like it, you can just go and do a 1-ounce pour and see what you think and just keep trying and tasting. We always have four house wines available — two reds and two whites. Then we have two sangrias always available, a white and red. We also do beer and we started carrying wine based cocktails. We have strawberry daquiris, mojitos, pina coladas and margaritas, all made with wine.”

Of course guests will get a bit peckish while sampling wine, so SummeRay offers a number of fresh and delicious appetizers, like grilled chicken kebabs or a hummus platter.

“We have a lot of charcuterie trays, which is our No. 1 selling food item,” Tilgner said. “We have great big salads that are great to share with a friend. We try to keep everything really healthy and organic. We don’t do anything super heavy like steaks. It’s more meant to share with another person and order slowly as you’re sitting.”

Every week, guests can sign up for the Tasting Tuesday, which includes a few different wines paired with a large charcuterie tray for $65 per person. Seating times are 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and must be reserved in advance by calling 928-889-9463.

“You get a big charcuterie tray and it specifically has some sour, some sweet — all different taste buds hit on there,” Tilgner said. “Then we do three different wines with it. My general manager Cristi Newport did sommelier training, so she is educating guests on how to pair it and what they are tasting.”

Any night is a great time to stop by and relax. The Lake Havasu location is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 2097 N. McCulloch Blvd.

The Kingman location is a fully outdoor bar, and therefore will be closed through the end of September until temperatures cool down and monsoon season ends. When it reopens, the hours will be 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. It is located on the corner of Oak and 2nd streets, right off of Beale Street.