Neighborhood wine shop Grape + Bean has reconfigured the downstairs of its flagship location in Old Town Alexandria into Brut, a Champagne-centric drinking den pouring over a half-dozen kinds of bubbly by the glass.
Dustin Lara, a hospitality vet who’s worked at neighboring Restaurant Eve and cocktail haven PX as well as for James Beard Foundation Award-winning restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Michelle Bernstein in New York City and Miami respectively, tells Eater that he has partnered with the owners of Grape + Bean on this latest venture. The former team is now in charge of the tasting room/classroom located on the second floor of 118 S. Royal Street, while Lara has taken control of the updated wine bar below. The satellite Grape + Bean just up the road (2 E. Walnut Street, Alexandria, Va.) remains unaffected by the changes at its decade-old sibling.
Scroll down to see the featured sparklers Lara is currently serving at Brut:
Lara says the food menu remains a work in progress. The first-time restaurateur plans to change some of the existing offerings, but said dishes including bacon-wrapped dates, sauteed shrimp, and truffled egg toast will stick around. He plans to have an official grand opening once the new menu is fully in place — which he says should be “a couple of weeks” from now.