We've seen the builders and smelled the sawdust. There is change in the air, and it smells like fine wine. This summer the citizens of San Anselmo are awaiting not one, but two wine bars to open their doors and uncork a few bottles. The Scoop has the latest on when residents can expect to try out La Loggia, at 500 San Anselmo Ave., and Lincoln Park, at 198 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
For Vincent Knobel, the priority has been not to rush his dream, but to get it right. He and partner, Colm Glass, have taken La Loggia from the seed of an idea into a reality of upscale wines set in an Italian atmosphere. They had always said that if the French Nest space on San Anselmo Avenue became available, they would go for it, and they have.
"We looked at a couple of other spots," Knobel told the Scoop, "including one side of what's now ."
But it was the French Nest closing that got things in motion. The fact that Knoble lives "800 feet" from the front door doesn't hurt either. He admits to having had a few sleepless nights in recent months, but his real passion remains creating a place that combines international wines, artisinal-quality eats with a fun and innovative approach to the nightlife experience.
Now La Loggia is getting its final approvals, in addition to working with the Ross Valley Fire Department and finishing-up some cosmetic details. So when might the doors actually open?
"We're looking at the end of July, possibly the beginning of August. We're also considering a soft opening ahead of that time, where people can come in and tell us what they think and most importantly, what they might want to see added or changed."
LINCOLN PARK NEARING COMPLETION
Meanwhile, over at the former location of Fork and Dream Farm, Chef Stephen Simmons' Lincoln Park is nearing completion as well.
"We can't wait to share it with everybody," says Lincoln Park's Wine Director Holly Bragman. "We have a great staff who are excited to begin welcoming the community into our space."
That space is actually two rooms, each with it's own "intention and vibe," as Bragman describes them. The front room caters to those seeking a more intimate bar atmosphere, while the side room was built with emphasis on comfortable lounge-style dining.
Bragman also confirmed the difficulties Lincoln Park has encountered in taking over the Dream Farm space. Because Dream Farm had been closed for 90 days or more, Lincoln Park was required to submit a brand new application, instead of the simpler "like business to like business" process. But, largely thanks to the direction from Simmons' wife Jennifer Ashby-Simmons, the space is up to code and nearly ready to take in patrons.
One thing Bragman couldn't tell me is exactly when Lincoln Park expects to open, but she did state that a soft opening at some point this month is likely. And is there any trepidation about the possibility of both wine bars opening in July?
"I had a chance to speak with one of the owners of La Loggia at the San Anselmo Art and Wine Festival last weekend," Bragman said. "We agree that it is exciting to be a synergistic force that will hopefully make San Anselmo an even more appealing destination."
The Scoop is still looking into more on . Stay tuned...
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