A couple of 'firsts'
Pair's wine bar-restaurant sets some precedents
By Bob Shallit - Bee Columnist
Last Updated 12:04 am PST Wednesday, February 7, 2007
There are plenty of "firsts" at L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen, soon to open in midtown.
It's the first entrepreneurial venture for husband-and-wife partners Marcus and Kolea Marquez, after years of working for other restaurateurs. It's the first local restaurant designed by Kristi Daggett, whose previous projects have been in L.A. It features furniture and a huge wine vault designed by Sacramentan William Earle, who's done work for celebs such as Courteney Cox and Macy Gray but never a restaurant.
Then there's the "first" connected with the graphics now covering the windows as workers race to finish in time for a mid-March opening. Most developers -- the unimaginative ones -- cover windows with brown construction paper or newspaper during the construction phase. More inventive ones use graphics that announce a business is "coming soon."
The folks at L Wine -- whose menu will feature 75 vintages and 15 light dinner plates -- went a step further and personalized their windows.
Each of the project's key movers -- the Marquezes, executive chef Ame Harrington and wine director Jonathon Klonecke -- is pictured sipping wine while sitting on lime-green Italian-made couches that will grace the wine bar's lounge area.
It's a new kind of promotional technique, at least in Sacramento, says wine bar investor Andrea Lepore, who modestly acknowledges it was her idea to use life-size portraits of the project's big shots.
"I thought since they're all young and good looking, we didn't need to hire models," she says.