Following the success with Seed Kitchen & Bar, Chefs Doug Turbush and Brendan Keenan have expanded their culinary footprint with the opening of Stem Wine Bar. Located adjacent to Seed, Stem is both the antithesis of and ideal complement to its neighbor. The chef-owners envisioned Stem as a place where they could introduce guests to a global selection of wine, to teach them about varieties of wine and to expose them to unique food and wine pairings. Without hesitation, Turbush and Keenan turned to ai3 to help build the ideal environment for their wine bar.
In many ways, Stem is a wine theatre. The space is dark, rich and intimate; its inspiration is rooted in the deep tones that are so equivalent with red wines. The central element is a large horseshoe-shaped bar that allows for generous seating and direct access to the sommelier. Above the bar are rows upon rows of hanging wine glasses, lit from above to create a soft, shimmering chandelier of light and glass. To one side of the bar, a vast array of bottles is on view as the backdrop and design feature of Stem. Elsewhere, decoration is intentionally minimal, while wood and leather textures lend a coziness that encourages guests to sit back and relax.
With their vision for Stem, the owners wanted a space that was flexible enough to host classes and lead wine programs, but which would be a wine bar above all else. The central configuration of the bar and few tables offers just such flexibility, allowing the chef and/or sommelier to take center stage or to move swiftly within a crowd.