ALAMEDA -- A new business opening soon next to Ole's Waffle Shop on Park Street will offer patrons waffle fries and items from the Ole's menu. But make no mistake, say owners Ken and Vickie Monize, the emphasis at Wine & Waffles is on the wine.
The wine lounge will give customers access to about 200 different wines, mainly from California but also from Europe and South America, including some from local vintners, like R&B Cellars. The new spot includes a fireplace and area for live entertainment.
"We're talking about niche wines. Wines that are special and not available on the open market and that are hard to find," said Ken Monize, who lived in Healdsburg for many years.
"The aim is to introduce the community to wines I know and love," he explained. "This way, people who want to enjoy some wine and jazz won't have to drive all the way to San Francisco or Napa to have something special. Every wine we serve here should be fantastic, or I haven't done my job."
In addition to fine wines, there will be beer on tap and in bottles such as those made by Faction Brewing at Alameda Point and Stone Brewing of Escondido. Snack items on the menu will include cheese plates, sliced meats, meatballs, desserts, macaroni and cheese, sliders and more. "We'll have specials like pulled pork with maple-whisky syrup on a waffle," said manager Tamara Jenson. "There will be desserts like butterscotch brownies, wine-flavored ice cream and cheesecake."
At their wedding two years ago, Vickie and Ken Monize made a toast to wine and waffles. The concept stuck, they say, so they turned their idea into a new place for residents to get together with friends and family.
"This is an intimate spot. It feels like a living room, but there's not TV," said Ken Monize, who has been inviting curious Park Street visitors inside to check out the scene.
Over the past few weeks, the owners and staff have passed out cards so community members could sign up for the venue's birthday club.
"We only have about 50 out of 1,000 left," Ken Monize said. "Interest is huge."
Wine & Waffles, which should open in April, will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.