Velvet 48 Wine Bar Comes to Downtown BurlingameAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Burlingame is a city that seems to have it all. But prior to this spring, it was lacking one pretty major feature: a wine-focused bar in the heart of downtown. Thanks to the debut of Velvet 48, that glaring omission is no more, and patrons can now have their pick of over 400 selections (that’s 5,000-plus bottles).
The international selection features over 50 different wines by the glass including Dom Pérignon, Krug, benchmark Napa Valley producers like Stags Leap Wine Cellars, Shafer Vineyards, Cain Vineyard & Winery and international selections from Domaine Faiveley, Domaine de Vieux Telegraphe and Antinori Tignanello. Sparkling wine is a major focus at Velvet 48, with a 17-foot-tall wall of sparkling wine housing over 50 Champagnes and sparkling wines. Mastermind Jason Cooper also worked closely with Sonoma’s Rack & Riddle to craft a Velvet 48 private label sparkling wine of which guests receive a complimentary welcome glass.
Wine isn’t the only attraction at Velvet 48 (though it is a major one). Food offerings include bar bites such as a selection of local cheese and charcuterie, gougères, warm olives, and As Kneaded bread with soft Vermont Creamery butter. To accompany a selection of dessert wines, sweets include local favorite, Guittard chocolate, assorted macarons and more.
The aesthetic of Velvet 48 was just as important to Cooper and his team as the offerings. The team fully revamped the space with contemporary dark gray, white, and gold décor, working with Kara Piepmeyer of ROY Hospitality Design. Bar-height seating, custom-made banquettes, and tables accommodate up to 49 guests and a cozy back patio adorned with twinkle lights creates a dreamy ambiance for additional standing room. In addition to that 17-foot high wall stocked from floor to ceiling with over 1,300 bottles, the space features wine carts for guests to peruse bottles for purchase – either for dining in or take home. The space can also be set up for wine tastings with local producers or transformed into a more private space for larger parties. A custom-built wine room, designed by Roy Hospitality Design and built by Bay Area Wine Cellars holds the wine library of over 3,000 bottles.
A few more touches that bring Velvet 48 to life include a collection of celebrity autographed photographs from Cooper’s mother, and a custom speaker and sound system that Cooper created with his brother-in-law, award winning Broadway sound designer Brian McDonald, and Berkeley-based Meyer Sound. Knowing that a TV can be a distraction, Cooper installed a Samsung Frame Television that will display rotating art when not in use for big sports and entertainment events at the bar.
Joining the Velvet 48 team is Corey Reis as General Manager, previously from The Table in San Jose where he ran the wine program for two years. Drea Dedona, formerly of the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, will be joining Corey on the managerial team as Events & Content Manager, and Joel Bachar and Rachel Alcarraz are coming on board as Wine Specialists. Under Cooper’s lead, every member of the team has had input in curating the wine list.
Velvet 48 is located at 310 Lorton Avenue, Burlingame, CA. Hours of operation are Tuesday-Thursday 3 pm – 10 pm, Friday-Saturday 12 pm – 11 pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 10 pm. Visit velvet48.com for more information.