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Only Age 4, But Always Vintage, Wine Bar Hosts ‘Fundiversary’

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Photo Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society

I wonder what Redding’s namesake, Benjamin B. Redding, would say if he were to walk down Market Street in downtown Redding today. It’s a far cry from the Market Street of 1880. It’s even a far cry from the Market Street of the 1950s. Thankfully, the Redding Hotel still towers over the corner of Sacramento and Market Streets. And occupying the retail space on its lower floor is a business that has helped change the face of downtown Redding – Vintage Wine Bar & Restaurant.

This weekend, Alex Gaxiola and Janis Logan, co-owners of Vintage Wine Bar & Restaurant are throwing the ultimate party to celebrate their fourth year. The Vintage Wine Bar & Restaurant “Fundiversary” is a blow-out street festival of food, wine, music and art – part celebration, part fundraiser for Riverfront Playhouse.

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Who’s crazy idea was Vintage anyway?

Janis: One day we’re talking about how it would be fun to open a wine bar downtown, by the Cascade. Within weeks of that conversation, Larry Morgan told Alex that the spot on the corner of Sacramento and Market is opening up. I thought “Oh crap, really? I guess this is what we’re supposed to do. The spot is open, I guess we’re going to do it. Geez, so soon? I can’t even think.”

Alex: I remember talking about opening a wine bar during the long car rides that my wife, Rebecca, and I made from Oregon to Redding in college. We both liked the wine bar concept and thought it could work in Redding if we found the right location. I’ve been to a lot of restaurants that I didn’t like, but I’ve never been to a wine bar I didn’t enjoy.

Why did you decide to open in downtown Redding?

Janis: Downtown is where we had to be. I’ve always loved downtown.  I knew it would make a comeback, and I was right!  Market St. Steakhouse opened a month after we did. Two new restaurants, more options, a destination for restaurants and bars.

Alex: Our corner downtown was the only spot in town we were willing to take a chance on. Helping in the revitalization of downtown and supporting the Cascade Theatre was important to us.

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You have been a major part of the evolution downtown. What are some of the most notable changes that you have seen?

Janis: There are people out and about walking downtown. There wasn’t a whole lot of that when we first opened.

Alex: More and more people are coming downtown to dine and enjoy themselves. I like to think we’ve been a big part of that.

What have you learned so far about owning and operating a restaurant?

Janis: I’ve learned that you’ve got to be in it for the love, not for the money. I truly enjoy what I do. It is a hard business and unpredictable. Just when you think things are turning around, American Idol comes on and screws up everything. Just kidding. It’s just a roller coaster ride, but I’ve always loved roller coasters.

Alex: Having this business has helped me grow as a person and also become a better community member.

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You’re one of the North State’s premiere venues for live music and art. How did your live music and art elements evolve?

Janis: Our no-cover live music started with the 1st anniversary party, open jam night. Peary Wood, Bill Webster and Jim Dyar all showed up and jammed. That led to music on Thursdays, every other Saturday and now every Saturday. I’m now considering Fridays, as long as people are enjoying the shows. In addition to talented local musicians, I’ve had artists playing from all over: San Diego, Orange County, LA, Portland, Austin and the list is growing. Redding is now a stop for many touring artists.

Alex: 2nd Saturdays are our busier nights. We love how much different art on the walls can change the feel of the whole restaurant. Positive or negative, visual art promotes conversation and the shows we’ve hosted have definitely done that.

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What can we expect next at Vintage?

Janis: We’ve put an opening in the wall to the banquet room so that people can sit in the back room and still hear and see the music from the front room, yet still have a conversation.

Alex: I’m looking forward to future “Fundiversary” parties and just living the life.

What: The Vintage Wine Bar 4th “Fundiversary” Party – a downtown celebration featuring food by five local restaurants, beer and wine, local artist demonstrations and music by Dan Krikorian, the Andrew Heringer Band, and a special after-party show by Redding’s own (and anewscafe.com’s own) Jim Dyar Band.

When: Sat., May 22, 4 to 8 p.m.: Street Party; 8 p.m. to late: After-Party, featuring the Jim Dyar Band.

Where: The Market Street Demonstration Block (Market Street between Sacramento and Placer).

Tickets (including one drink): $10 in advance or $15 at the door, available at Vintage Wine Bar & Restaurant, 1790 Market Street, Redding.

Proceeds from the “Fundiversary” benefit the Riverfront Playhouse Capital Campaign. For more information, call Vintage at (530) 229-9449 or visit vintagedowntown.com.

Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State news and events to adamm.anewscafe@gmail.com.

Adam Mankoski

is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner are the owners of HawkMan Studios and the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday Art Hop.

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