For most local business owners, the day they close their doors for good is a sad day, but not so for Wine Company owner Skip Noell. Noell spent Friday evening, The Wine Company’s last day — playing the piano, drinking wine, surrounded by friends –- celebrating.
“I bought The Wine Company partly because I loved to spend time there,” said Noell. “Most of the staff and guests have been my friends for years.”
However, it was not long before the successful businessman was inspired to a larger vision.
“We found that our guests would come and buy wine, drink a glass or two while listening to music or chatting, then get hungry and leave,” Noell laughed. “I knew right away that we had to fill that need.”
The Wine Company space was a fairly small storefront, so a bigger venue was in order.
“We chose the former Harry’s Pacific Grille location to accommodate our new concept,” said Noell, noting that the space had all the right elements: a wide open main dining room, a state-of-the-art kitchen and an elegant bar and lounge.
With the venue change came a new name: Cellarz93. The space will boast a 250 label wine shop, a full bar and lounge, live music and a globally-influenced menu created by celebrity chef Andrew Selz.
“With such a huge, internationally selected wine list, we knew that we had to have a chef who would be able to pair with wines from across the globe,” said Noell. “We were thrilled when Andrew agreed to come on board.”
A certified instructor for the Culinary Institute of America and former Food Network host, Chef Selz has seen it all, but could not resist the opportunity to bring his culinary expertise to Temecula.
“I am so excited to partner with Skip and the rest of the team to create this unique dining and entertainment experience,” said Selz.
The menu will not only pair with the wines, but with custom designed cocktails made from house-infused liquors.
“I am intrigued by all of the ways that we can create harmony between food and beverage,” said Selz. “I am collaborating with our bar chefs create incredible flavor combinations that will inspire our guests.”
Though most recently from Florida, Selz is looking forward to becoming part of the Temecula community. So much so that he has already used his celebrity and connections to benefit one local charity close to his heart.
“Autism is a cause that I have championed for years, so when I heard about Oak Grove’s autism program, I went over to meet the kids,” said Selz, who followed up with a donation of specially designed, easy to use blenders. “I wanted them to be able to ‘cook’ something and have some fun.”
Chef Selz will be taking his support one step further by throwing his toque in the ring at the 5th Annual Oak Grove Chef Open on Monday, Oct. 22. The popular fundraiser sells out each year and Cellarz93 is proud to be a part of it.
With plans to open in early October, Cellarz93 promises an expansive wine list available for purchase at retail prices, an extraordinary dining experience, live music to suit a variety of tastes – a truly unique experience.
Cellarz93 is located in the Bel Vellagio plaza at 41577 Margarita Road, Suite 101, Temecula.
For more information, visit the Cellarz93 Facebook page.
Corie Maue is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.