Following formula used at Plymouth location, owners of Grafton bistro offer contrast to bar scene
The husband-and-wife team of Frank and Sally Maydak believe they found the recipe for an intimate evening out a little over two years ago when they opened Pourvino in Plymouth.
Now they are bringing that same sophisticated formula to Ozaukee County with the opening of Pourvino Winebar & Bistro, 1239 Washington St., Grafton.
“We like to describe it as urban chic,” Frank Maydak said.
Although the venue is the same setting as the former Vino 100 wine shop, which closed five years ago, the focus is more on providing a relaxing setting to enjoy high-end wines and spirits.
That selection is supplemented by a menu that features lighter fare — tapas, soups, salads, flatbreads and desserts.
But it is the drinks that take center stage at Pourvino, with 125 wines available by the bottle or the glass.
The establishment has a retail and on-premise liquor license, so patrons can have unfinished bottles recorked to take home with them.
It doesn’t take long for guests to realize this is a different kind of winebar. A well-lit, glass wine cellar — capable of holding 680 bottles at optimum temperature — dominates one wall of the bistro.
Bottle prices range from $25 to $100, except for “Bottle Tuesdays” when they are discounted 50%.
“Tuesdays have proven to be very busy nights for us in Plymouth. Everyone likes a deal and a chance to try something they might not otherwise buy,” Sally Maydak said.
She is the designated wine buyer, and has become well acquainted with all of the labels and varieties they carry.
Maydak said she has a passion for wine. Her personal preference is dry, Italian reds, but she will gladly offer suggestions to people who want to experiment.
“There are a lot of nice restaurants in the area, so people have been exposed to good wine lists and know exactly what they want,” she said.
“Others are looking for recommendations, and I am happy to do that.”
For those who are not wine lovers, there is craft beer, a full slate of top-shelf bourbons and scotches, along with an extensive menu of designer martinis made with Grey Goose vodka.
Frank Maydak said he is a martini man, with a preference for French martinis made with vodka, Chambord raspberry liqueur and pineapple juice.
Sample flights offer one-ounce tastes of select liquors for patrons looking to develop their palates.
There is a large TV screen hanging over the back bar, but Frank Maydak said it won’t dominate the sociable setting.
“The only time we plan to have the TV on is when the Packers are playing,” he said.
Ambiance is the key to the business, with several clusters of comfortable furniture scattered around the front seating area, inviting conversation.
Sally Maydak said the goal is to create a welcoming setting that could be characterized as the antithesis of the traditional bar scene.
“We plan on closing at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays because we don’t want our patrons to have to deal with the problems that can arise when customers come in late and have already been over-served,” she said.
The business has a simple, three-word mission statement and invitation to guests, “Relax Wine Dine.”
OWNERS FRANK AND Sally Maydak (top photo) are ready to toast customers at Grafton’s newly opened Pourvino Winebar & Bistro. The owners say the new business fits in well with the eclectic mix of shops in the village’s downtown. Sally Maydak (upper right) pulled a bottle from the well-stocked glass wine cellar, which frequently draws reaction from patrons. Photo by Mark Jaeger