In 2002, when the owners of Bistrot Lepic opened an upstairs wine bar, they weren't sure it would succeed. Almost 10 years later, it has become a popular meeting place and valuable addition to the restaurant.
"We wanted people to feel comfortable, like they're in their own living room," said owner Cyrille Brenac, explaining the concept behind the bar's design. "Except that we're here to serve and do the cooking, so people don't have to do anything but relax."
Customers seemed comfortable at Tuesday's tasting, lingering for hours to chat over wine and appetizers.
"Tastings give customers a chance to try new wines without having to spend a lot of money," said a longtime employee of Bistrot Lepic. "But they also give people a unique chance to learn the story behind the wines...importers who come have visited the vineyards and know everything about the wine's history and production."
In addition to Tuesday wine tastings, Brenac recently started hosting live jazz at the bar on Wednesday nights. "We're very excited about the music; there are so many local musicians and whenever they play we've been packed," said Brenac. "When people come in from outside, they can feel the energy; the smells, the conversation, the live music...it's wonderful."
Tuesday tastings are from 6-8pm; Wednesday jazz shows are from 7-10pm.