By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Want to know what an $1,800 bottle of Screaming Eagle wine tastes like without buying a bottle? Head to the newly opened The Wine Room Kitchen & Bar in Delray and try a few ounces at a fraction of the price that a bottle would set you back.
The concept features wine machines that offer 2.5 and 5 ounce pours of wines from around the world. It is located at 411 E. Atlantic Ave., the former location of Caffe Martier.
It is the second The Wine Room Kitchen & Bar location. The first location in Winter Park just celebrated its 13 anniversary this year.
“We wanted to have another location,” managing partner Bruce Simberg said. “I live in South Florida and we thought Delray was the right place for it.”
He said the people and vibrancy of how exciting Delray is with new apartments and hotels opening is what drew him to open the second location.
“Delray is a walking street like Winter Park,” he said. “People love to come by, walk in and taste the wines we have.”
The entire space has been gutted and renovated by Simberg and his team.
The space now totals 7,500-square-feet and features a main bar area, the tasting machines that stock 200 wines, a retail space where you can purchase cheese, wine, liquor and charcuterie boards, a VIP room that holds about 14 people, a private dining room with space for 31 people, a wareroom that fits 2,600 bottles of wine and lounge areas in the middle for people to enjoy their drinks. There is also a full kitchen that will be led by Chef Blair Wilson.
The original speakeasy bar has been renovated and restored to its original state, Simberg said.
“We renovated and restored the entire bar from scratch and brought it back to what it was years ago,” he said.
Even the roof of the building came off for the renovations. The floors are brand new, except for the speakeasy area, those floors remained original.
“It’s really beautiful,” Simberg said. “People can sit and enjoy the wine machines and the food.”
Simberg began collecting wines over 40 years ago. When he and his VP of operations at the Winter Park location saw the wine machines, he said they knew it would be a great way for people to enjoy and taste wines.
Wine tastings vary in price from $1 to “some very, very expensive wines” that cost upward of $60 or $70 for a taste, he said.
Simberg’s go-to wines are French Bordeaux and burgundies, but The Wine Room offers an array of wines from across the globe.
And for the non-wine drinkers, the venue also offers high-end liquor on the menu. You can find a 40-year-old Scotch, 25-year Macallan and fine bourbons.
Restaurant brokerage firm Prakas & Co. helped The Wine Room Kitchen & Bar land its downtown location.
Athan “Tom” Prakas, owner of Prakas & Co., was the exclusive broker in the deal. He said he brought Simberg and his partners to all types of different spaces including in Boca and Fort Lauderdale, but they agreed they wanted to be in Delray.
“Winter Park resembles Atlantic Avenue a lot,” he said. “The place is beautiful. It’s going to be a nice addition to the Avenue.”