Exposed brick walls? Check. Edison bulbs? Check. Minimalist logo? Check. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think a seasoned restaurateur was responsible for The Pursuit Wine Bar.
Instead, the new wine lair, which opened mid-June, is a passion project from two first-timers: Thomas Boisvert, 33, a former attorney, and Kathleen Davis, 31, a meeting coordinator.
The duo became fast friends as students at Syracuse University and bonded over late nights fueled by wine and cheese. They’d always toyed with the idea of opening a bar together, and finally it all clicked.
“I had a realization that I should be doing what I wanted instead of gritting my teeth and getting through life,” Boisvert says.
In addition to their global wine list that includes more than45 glasses priced between $6 and $18 (including four wines available on draft), Boisvert and Davis draw guests with creative specials like Heavy Pour Mondays and a nightly Standby Flight List. The latter costs $15 and includes five sample-size servings of vinos from previously opened bottles that need to be consumed before they turn. Cocktails made from house-infused alcohols like mint bourbon, jalapeno tequila and ginger vodka hover around $10.
Food is more pre-teen than pretentious: Build-your-own grilled cheese sandwiches appeal to picky eaters, while charcuterie, cheese boards and bar bites like nuts and olives round out the menu. Upstairs, a lofty lounge plays host to plush armchairs and tufted love seats that beg for canoodlers.
Boisvert says the entire process of opening the bar went smoother than he or Davis could have imagined, further reaffirming his decision to leave the firm. “I can only think of one day when I thought to myself, ‘I’d rather be a lawyer right now,’ ” Boisvert says. “It’s been stressful, but it’s our passion.”
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