Combining Fashion with Function in a Wine-by-the-Glass Program
Set inside the Andalusian architecture of the Hyatt Huntington Beach's newest restaurant and gastropub Watertable are two wine bottle displays that mean more than their sleek aesthetic traits. The system is the WineEmotion wine dispenser with automated serving and preservation features.
Through the innovative minds of Executive Chef Manfred Lassahn and Director of Food and Beverage Jon Benson, Watertable was born to appeal to visitors and locals alike. In the development stages, the team knew wine by the glass would play a big role in the restaurant's identity, but they did not imagine it would grow into the success it is today.
Watertable's wine by the glass has quickly become a favorite feature at the new restaurant. Due to the success, the team has evolved the wine by the glass program to constantly provide variety alongside some of the more familiar brands customers have grown to love.
Chris Jack, Beverage Manager of the Hyatt Huntington Beach, envisioned a wine by the glass program that would complement the restaurant's "old and new, refined American cuisine." He incorporated the WineEmotion wine dispenser and preservation system to allow his team to confidently offer a wide array of premium wines by the glass without worrying about over-pouring and spoilage.
The bar layout is simple. As you enter the restaurant, the bar runs along the back wall. Approximately 40 feet long, the bar top seats about 20 guests. Lining the perimeter of the bar area are several 4- to 6-person booths. Every seat in the area has a good vantage point to view the wine dispensing system. For diners who would like a different view, the outside dining area has a view reminiscent of many screen-savers.
The intricate yet simple design of Watertable's bar makes a perfect platform for the wine dispenser. Jack said he was pleasantly surprised that "the WineEmotion wine dispenser turns out to be the centerpiece of the bar even though it wasn't planned that way." He added, "The straight lines and sleekness of the system takes over the room."
Guests love the system as well. "The response to the system by our guests is amazing," Jack said. "Anyone not familiar with the system is always fascinated by the display of the wines and the science involved."
Of course, a beautiful wine display system can only do so much. Jack and his team work hard to curate a wine by the glass program intriguing enough to sell itself. With "big name" Californian wines like Silver Oak, Duckhorn & Shafer, and Italian varietals like Brunello & Amarone, guests are able to sip on some of the world's most desired wines.
Jack went on to say that many nights, his premiere wines by the glass move so well, he is yet to capitalize on the long term preservation features. This sounds like a good problem to have. The layout combined with the WineEmotion wine dispenser & preservation system appears to be a catalyst for the significant wine by the glass sales.
Watertable is currently in its peak season, with high volumes consisting of Orange County locals as well as tourists from all over the world. The local following is somewhat uncommon for resort-based restaurants and is sure to play a big role for Watertable going into the typically slower parts of the year.
The opinions of contributors are their own. Publication of their writing does not imply endorsement by FSR magazine or Journalistic Inc.