Man tries to sell bar; man decides to close bar; regulars rescue bar and give it new life. So goes the elevator pitch of the Old Vines Wine Bar story, whose next happy chapter begins with today's anticipated grand reopening.
New owners Jon Ellms and Rick Taranto, who split their time between Massachusetts and Kennebunk, have updated the bar's look and menu while retaining much of the staff, including chef Peter Croce and bartenders Janai Schaefer and Charley Zimmerman. Former owner Mike Farrell even consulted during the transition. General Manager James Warwick comes to the bar from nearby Striper's. See some pictures from a Friends and Family Night on the company's Facebook page.
Ellms told Eater he and Taranto are following the motto "Improve and expand, but don't reinvent," continuing to emphasize small wine producers from around the world and sticking with old menu favorites while slowly building in new items such as steak, escargot, and vegetarian options. The Press Herald has additional coverage on Old Vines, which for the time being will open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.