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Oct 3, 2011 10:03 AM

The old Vintage/Il Vesco Vino in St. Paul

Went to Bars Bakery yesterday morning for a little nosh and had to park a block away, probably due to TC marathon watchers. My walking path led me in front of the old Vintage/Il Vesco Vino building and I noticed a banner on the building that said "Something New Coming Soon." Anyone know what it is? After the Heidi's/Blackbird fire I lobbied hard to get Heidi's to come across the river into that building, to no avail. I hope it's something wonderful, whatever it is, but the suspense is killing me!

Bars Bakery
612 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102

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  1. I just saw the same sign and am very curious, though hope its not there to tease us for months and months.

    12 Replies
    1. re: dahlsk

      Early gossip says it's a wine and chocolate place — but apparently there's also a wine and chocolate place opening down the street between Root and Allee, so...

      1. re: bethanyg

        I saw the new storefront for the wine and chococolate place between Root and Allee this weekend. Looks fun from the outside. Anyone know when it's opening?

        I'd be surprised if they were only doing wine and chocolate in the old Vintage. Seems far too big a place for just that.

        1. re: Seige

          I'll just say this, I'm worried about whatever it is and question the business plan behind it right now. It has nothing to do with concept.

          Il Vesco Vino invested smartly and built a nice patio outside with a bar. The new concept will open in the winter? How do you open when one of your best resources is under a few feet of snow???

          Curious to say the least. I'm rooting for whatever it is as I love that neighborhood, but this first step isn't exactly a confidence builder.

          Il Vesco Vino
          242 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN 55102

          1. re: Db Cooper

            It's a soft opening with the indoor ops first, followed by a second round of buzz when the patio opens for the first time this Spring.

            Speaking of business plans, remember to patronize Ngon Bistro, and any other restaurant you want to see on the opposite side of the light rail installation. Eat there often.

            1. re: keg

              Thanks Keg. While I have some doubt about generating two rounds of buzz, I hpoe it works for all involved as the neighborhood deserves it.

              Is the chocolate wine concept accurate?

              1. re: Db Cooper

                To be fair, I've always thought that whatever went in there should open in the spring. Utilize the patio and the bar/lower level of the restaurant. Build a loyal customer base on one level who will be understanding as you work thru the pains of dealing with the intricacies of the upstairs environment. No matter how much you train and how soft the opening, that layout will cause logistic issues.

                I was in for pho at Ngon last week with my better half ...

              2. re: keg

                So WHAT is it? Please, please, please be something good.

                1. re: keg

                  Oh wait - are you saying the chocolate/wine place between Root and Allee is a soft opening? Or do you know something about the former Vintage space?

                  1. re: Seige

                    I live in the neighborhood and the owners of Allee (next to the chocolate/wine space) know a fair amount about the chocolate place, but that is separate from the Vintage/IVV location. BTW, Allee has really cute stuff and antiques downstairs too :) Still unsure about the Vintage location's concept/timeline though. Anyone??

              1. re: BatMan

                Yes! That's totally it. Thank you. Now find out what's going in the old Vintage location, you batty sleuth. :)

                1. re: BatMan

                  Not sure why the other posts that Bethanyg and others posted got removed from this thread, but in any event - I found this article that says Blood and Chocolates is opening in January -

                  Looking forward to it!

            2. Now there's a second sign up at the Vintage/IVV saying "It involves chocolate!" so I think my original info about a second wine and chocolate place or an extension of Blood and Chocolates is somewhat accurate. Agreed that it seems like a lot of space for that...

              1. The original comment has been removed
                  1. Finally, a hint of an answer!

                    See Dara's writeup in the paragraph titled "Dr Chocolate's Chocolate Chateau":

                    And there's a website:

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: KTFoley

                      It'll be interesting to see if a high end chocolatier can make it in the Twin Cities. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover Christopher Elbow in Kansas City - a world class chocolate maker that blows any Minnesota made chocolate out of the water, including McElrath. Not even in the same same league, in my opinion.

                      The TC does a great job in supporting some very end end restaurants, but at the same time, it struggles in supporting other quality establishment types, like delis, and with very few exceptions, bakeries. It'll be interesting to see if A) Dr Chocolate is world class, and B) if it is, can it get the support here.