Wine Down Ooltewah, a beloved bistro and wine bar in Ooltewah’s Cambridge Square community, has reached its five-year-anniversary with expansion plans that will delight diners beginning September 2020.
Located on the public square at Cambridge, Wine Down quickly positioned itself as one the city’s most innovative restaurants, offering menu items such as their signature Lobster Roll, homemade soups, charcuterie boards, gourmet entrees, and an extensive wine and cocktail menu.
Now they have announced plans to expand into a neighboring space formally occupied by Mojo Burrito, combing their outdoor patios and tripling the size of their kitchen. The expanded concept will be called Wine Down Bistro & Lounge.
“Five years ago, our business model was to be a quaint wine bar that served small plates,” said Owner, Operations Director and Executive Chef Marcus Garner who runs Wine Down with his wife Georgia. “We quickly learned that there was a pent-up demand for a more advanced culinary experience in Ooltewah, and over time we have been extremely fortunate to build a loyal following from around Chattanooga and Cleveland. That loyalty has given us the opportunity to grow and we could not be more excited about our next chapter.”
Wine Down Bistro & Lounge will operate its existing space as a lounge, wine and cocktail bar, maintaining its kitchen to accommodate the original vision of small plates and some entrees. Ten steps away they are revamping a 2500 square foot space into a full-service bistro with a much larger kitchen and indoor seating that will allow patrons to watch the chefs prepare their meals. The outdoor patios for both locations will be combined so diners can move seamlessly between the spaces.
In addition, the Garners are bringing Wilbur Cox on board as a Co-Executive Chef. Cox most recently served as the Executive Chef at the Sewanee Inn located on the domain at The University of the South. Cox and Mr. Garner share a culinary past. The two opened the B & O American Brasserie at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco which is located within Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
“Marcus and Wilbur have been planning this bistro concept for years,” said Georgia Garner. “Not only are they superb chefs, they are also experienced professionals when it comes to running a restaurant. We are thrilled that we have reached a point where they can execute their vision and the fact that we’re able to do this in Cambridge Square makes it that much sweeter.”
Favorites that patrons have come to know and love will remain on the menu, but the larger kitchen will enable the chefs to further spread their culinary wings. Chef Garner explains that there will be an even further emphasis on locally sourced proteins, breads and vegetables.
The lounge area will capture overflow crowds and will also serve as a destination for people who simply want to enjoy a glass of wine, a cocktail, and some appetizers. The Lounge will also be available for event rental. The Bistro will contain a bar, but its main emphasis will be the dining experience.
“There’s going to be something for everyone,” Georgia Garner said. “The difference between being a good restaurant and being a great restaurant all has to do with consistently surpassing people’s expectations. That’s exactly what we plan on doing.”