The owners of Perfect Blend and Make Me A Cake Next Door are collaborating with a member of their management team to open a new wine bar at Delmar’s Four Corners.
The project went before the town’s Planning Board on Tuesday, Feb. 17. The new business is proposed for 384 Kenwood Ave., the former site of Buddy’s Ice Cream that closed after a few months this fall.
“We began discussions relatively recently,” said Brenden McCann, who plans to open the new venue with Perfect Blend co-owner Dan Casey and general manager Chris Torncello. “I’d say we first talked about it in January, and we’re really excited about it.”
Steve Bolduc of Keystone Builders, who owns the building, went before the planning board last week to seek permission for a small addition to the building. The expansion would be about 148 square feet. McCann said Bolduc would continue to own the building, with the bottom of the building rented for the wine bar. The top of the building has an apartment.
Bolduc told members of the planning board he felt the trio would be great tenets, as Perfect Blend has grown to be “a real asset to the community.”
In a later interview, McCann said it was always in the business plan for Perfect Blend to eventually offer wine, beer and small plates. However, the coffee shop eventually evolved into a welcoming, family atmosphere. “We thought it would be bad to disturb that atmosphere by introducing alcohol,” he said.
So the idea was shelved for a time, but recently more and more customers expressed the need of a relaxing hangout space that was open later and was walkable. Since McCann, Casey and Torncello like to take cues from their customers, they began to seriously talk about the subject of a wine bar.
“The location is obviously great for us,” said McCann. “We’ve been at Perfect Blend for six years, and the Four Corners is great because it’s pedestrian friendly. This will help us to extend our portfolio, but won’t have us spread too far so we can give the appropriate attention to all three businesses.”
Management recently decided on the name, Twisted Vine Wine and Tap.
McCann said he and his partners want the bar to have a similar feel to Perfect Blend. The plans call for occupancy for 50 people.
“We want people to relax and hang out for a while,” said McCann. “It’s not going to be extremely upscale, but a place to appeal to everybody.”
Plans already call for the space to be decorated by the trio’s friends at Silver Fox Salvage in Albany. Instead of a modern atmosphere, the business partners felt using upcycled décor fit better with the community.
“With Delmar being what it is and its affinity for the Buy Local campaign, we though it would be great to have a lot of reused and reclaimed items to have a more rustic look, said McCann.
Besides small plates and cheese, McCann said they will also incorporate desserts and coffee from their other businesses for those looking for a late-night treat.
Bolduc told board members last week none of the 12 parking spaces would be impacted by the addition and explained other parking options in the area. He also said he is looking for a new tenant to move into his other building next door when the Stram Center moves to 90 Adams Place in the near future. Bolduc said the adjacent building could be used to store construction material, since work also needs to be done in that location.
“We are very excited about this project,” said McCann. “It’s going to be fun. We think the town will be receptive. We want people to know we have a vested interest in the town. Both Dan and I have our homes where, as well as our business.”
Site plan approval is expected at the next meeting on March 3.