Friday, December 01, 2006

Downtown Wine Bar Plans Ripen

Downtown Wine Bar Plans Ripen
By Amanda Janis/Business Editor

Corks are poised to pop at Vacaville's Town Square.
WineStyles of Vacaville - an upscale wine bar, piano bar, lounge and wine shop rolled into one - has applied to locate in a 1,900-square-foot-space in Town Square, adjacent to the Pure Grain Cafe.

Unless the city receives concerning public comments, city planners are expected to approve Vacaville's first wine bar on Dec. 8.

"I don't anticipate any bumps on our side of the road," confirmed Senior Planner Eric Luchini. The project seems to have a lot of support from staff and beyond, he explained, "because it's not just your typical bar, it's more upscale, and wine is very trendy now."

WineStyles is an international franchise with more than 138 locations. In an atmosphere it describes as "reminiscent of a wine cellar in an old European village," its stores are designed to attract consumers intimidated by the fancy names, snobby attitudes and exorbitant prices associated with wine connoisseurs and consumption.

To begin with, 80 percent of the wines for sale will cost $25 or less, with many in the $10-$15 range. And, perhaps most uniquely, wines will not be arranged according to color, varietal or appellation, but by descriptive terms like crisp, silky, rich, bubbly, fruity, mellow, and bold.

"The idea is to make it easily understandable and easily digestible to consumers," explained Kevin Seeman, who is opening the store along with his wife, Nancy Currey Seeman, and fellow Vacaville residents Beau and Allison Ragan.

The wine-loving foursome and their circle of friends have discussed opening such a spot for about five years, Seeman said.

"We've talked about how Vacaville needs this," he said. "You have to go over to Sonoma or Napa to have a nice glass of wine in a nice atmosphere."

If all goes as planned, they hope to open in February.

"We're just very excited to open this up, to manage it and to offer it to the community," Seeman said. "We really expect to have a good time."

For more information, call Seeman at 334-0421.

Amanda Janis can be reached at

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