The Ambiance of Vintage Wine Bar & Restaurant
● By Brandi Barnett
A New VintageJanuary 2007
By Melissa Gulden
If there was ever an example of “good timing,” it is the story of Vintage Wine Bar & Restaurant.
Its owners said if they were ever going to open a wine bar, it would have to be in the nook of Market Street and nowhere else. Owner Janis Logan walked by one day and said, “Now that would be the perfect place for a wine bar.” As luck would have it, the space was available. “If we wanted the spot, we knew we had to act on it,” Logan said. And the perfect spot it is, nestled in the midst of downtown, the vintage Cascade sign appropriately positioned across the street.
The three owners, Logan, Alex Gaxiola and John Rollins, immediately went to work on a top-to-bottom face-lift. They envisioned the restaurant’s rich colors from the start. “We just started throwing ideas together and things started flowing,” said Logan. Being that they are all family—Logan is Rollins’ daughter, Gaxiola her brother in-law—each member contributed his or her talents to the project, including Logan’s husband and Gaxiola’s wife.
Step inside Vintage and you are immediately greeted with rich, warm earth tones and Tuscan-inspired décor. The comfy leather couches remind one more of someone’s home than a waiting area. “When we lived in Oregon, my wife and I would go to wine bars and we loved the ambiance, the atmosphere,” said Gaxiola. “We knew if we ever opened a restaurant, it would be a wine bar.”
Commanding center stage is the bar, a gorgeous juxtaposition of brushed gold finish and sleek lines. The two wine preservers each hold 16 bottles, keeping the reds at one temperature, the whites at another. Redding was more than ready for such a concept. Vintage opened May 23 of 2006 and has been gaining loyal customers ever since.With its tapas-style small plates, Vintage offers more than just the usual fare. Chef Charles Harworth creates and artistically presents each recipe with flair.
While each had general knowledge about wine, the owners have learned as they go and keep improving the wine list, saying the majority of the wines come from recommendations and personal preference. “We all taste it, and if it makes the grade, we consider it for the menu,” said Gaxiola. The wine list is extensive, incorporating wines from such places as Germany and France. The wine flights,my personal favorite, are a wine-tasting experience, allowing you to sample three different wines, and then pair your food with the wine, instead of the other way around. And may I recommend the fondue for two appetizer, roasted quail entrée and the house-made honey-thyme ice cream—all fantastic and off of the new, seasonal menu.
Feedback has been nothing but great since Vintage’s opening. “People have said it’s about time for a place like this and don’t want their favorite restaurant to leave,” said Gaxiola. Something tells me they don’t have anything to worry about.
“With the Cascade and the whole downtown revitalization,” said Gaxiola, “we’re exactly where we want to be.”