Dec. 22, 2014 By Christian Murray
BLVD, a new wine bar located at 47-20 Center Blvd, opened its door for the first time Saturday.
Rob Bralow, who is the manager and a partner in the business, said that the wine bar was full from the moment it opened Saturday until close.
“I was shocked,” Bralow said. He said the owners did not market its opening nor did they reach out to family and friends. “It was just a case of opening the doors and let’s see,” Bralow said.
He said that a lot of people just happened to be walking by the building and then came in to check it out. “One couple was coming back from the grocery store carrying milk and eggs and then decided to sit down have some wine,” he said.
Bralow, who has been working at Blue Streaks’ Wines & Spirits in recent years, said that many people recognized him Saturday from the wine store. “Some knew we were opening and were glad for all of us,” he said.
The wine bar is offering a selection of 42 different wines by the bottle/glass and 4 house wines on tap, which sell for $6 per glass. There is also craft beer starting at $4.50 a bottle.
Bralow said that the staff has been trained to know the wine being sold and should be able to answer most questions. However, he said he would be on hand to answer the more complex questions.
Bralow said that BLVD will be open from 3pm through midnight Sunday to Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday nights through 2 am.
The wine bar is about 1,500 square feet in size. There are 19 seats at the bar and 14 seats at high-top tables. There is also an area in the back that can cater to 15-20 people.
Bralow said the wine bar will be offering food shortly after the New Year– once the kitchen is ready. The bar will then offer artisanal cheeses, fine charcuterie, nuts and flat bread.
Much of the interior work and decor can be attributed to Alyssa Ruven who is married to Jim Pileski, a partner in the business and a co-owner of The Burger Garage. Some of the paintings on the wall are hers—and she played a big part in the selection of the lights and other subtle features.
The owners plan to apply for the use of their backyard patio space. They will seek permission to put up 3 or 4 tables, which could cater to between six and eight people.
Meanwhile, they also plan to apply for a sidewalk seating license that would permit them to put up four tables that could cater up to 8 people.
The owners plan to apply for these licenses in January since it can take six months before they get permission.
Bralow said the owners are not going to push the envelope in terms of seeking the maximum number of outdoor tables and chairs.
“We don’t want to start out crazy,” Bralow said. “We want to start with a few and see how it goes…since we want to be good neighbors.”
However, what’s most important, Bralow said, is the quality of the wine bar itself. “We want a place where people feel comfortable to come in and sit down to enjoy a beer, wine or soda.”