Anyone wondering when signs of progress would be visible at the Crema & Vine project got the question answered this week when the framework for the outdoor dining area’s awning was installed, the parking lot repaved, workers began assembling the frames for the counters, and the lighting arrived.
“By the end of the week, it will finally look like something,” co-owner Steve DelGiorno said Wednesday. “Everyone is really pushing hard now.”
The coffee and wine bar will replace a former Exxon station at the corner of Holbrook Avenue and Main Street, serving up gourmet coffees, a wide variety of wines, craft beers, and food.
A happy DelGiorno beamed a bright smile as he explained where different types of seating would go and where food and beverages would be set up.
He’s not ready to talk about specific brands or a menu yet, however.
“We’re finalizing the menu now,” DelGiorno said, adding that there will be a different twist to the evening menu: “Instead of people ordering beverages to compliment the food, we’ll create dishes that will compliment the wines and beer.”
As a restaurant, Crema & Vine is a concept that has been on the books since City Council approved it last August, a move that came on the heals of a public uproar the previous year over another businessman’s plans to use the former gas station as a convenience store. Residents of the surrounding historic Old West End bristled at the notion of the structure being used as a simple, round-the-clock storefront.
Rick Barker, who is partnering with DelGiorno on the project, said Crema & Vine will offer a variety of seating, from a laptop bar that will seat about 10 with outlets to plug in electronics, to tables both regular and bar height, and cozy sofas and chairs.
“There will also be a community table that seats 12,” Barker said. “The seating will be versatile, whether you want a quick, 15-minute cup of coffee in the morning, or you want to spend two hours in comfortable chairs in the evening.”
Barker described the décor as “dramatic,” with some high-impact art and “moody, darker” colors that will make the lighting and artwork “pop.”
Passers-by have gotten a hint of one of the colors in the eatery’s palate from the magenta-painted front door; that will be mixed with black and mocha in the interior.
The exterior also is going to have seating in front of what used to be garage doors, topped by a huge awning.
The patio will seat about 20 people and the interior more than 50, though Barker said they are taking final measurements before saying exactly how many seats there will be.
Asked if an opening date had yet been set, DelGiorno smiled ruefully.
“I did say it would open this summer,” he laughed as he watched the workers bustling around both the interior and exterior of Crema & Vine. “I guess technically summer doesn’t end until Sept. 22 … but there will be rapid progress from here.”
Don’t expect the two men to slow down when this project is done — they have other projects in the works, some individually and some as partners.
“Wait till you hear what’s coming next,” DelGiorno grinned. “You’ll love it.”