Frenchie Wine Bar to double in size


The rue du Nil, when Greg Marchand set up Frenchie restaurant, was nowheresville. Three years later, it’s a scene. Lines form before 7pm outside Frenchie Bar à Vins, which Marchand opened across the street in June 2011. Some have arrived with the deluded hope that there might be a cancellation at the restaurant. Most are there for the wine bar itself, which serves small plates and charcuterie. They scribble their names on a clipboard waiting list, spill wine on the cobblestones, and bring life to what was previously a dark little street.

In a few days, Marchand will complete work on an expansion of Frenchie Bar à Vins. The wine bar will reopen in the rentrée (after closing from July 28-August 22) with twenty-two additional seats, two new chefs from Denmark and Sweden, and a much larger kitchen. The former prep area, where 100 plates per night were created in a space that was smaller than la toilette, will be re-purposed for cold wine storage and cured meats.

Beneath the surface, Marchand has doubled the size of the cave to permit better storage and increased wine sales. He’s added another prep area, anticipating a future in which Frenchie Wine Bar might make produce in-house everything that’s on the menu. That will certainly include the house-made pasta he plans to add to the wine bar menu.

With this expansion, it’s clear that Marchand plans to stay in the Sentier and not relocate to a more central and larger location. He considered the latter, but says he loves the community that’s growing up around the rue du Nil. In the not-so-distant-future, that community will include a retail space for Terroirs d’Avenir (7, rue du Nil), the distributors of pristine produce that supply Frenchie, Saturne, Au Passage, Verjus, and many other ingredient-driven restaurants.



4 Comments on Frenchie Wine Bar to double in size

  1. Hi Roy: we don’t yet know when Terroirs d’Avenir will be opening their new storefront on the rue du Nil, but we can tell you that work on the building has not yet begun. We’ll certainly keep everyone posted when we know more.

  2. I can’t wait for more space at the Frenchie wine bar…Although part of the charm is having to be one of the lucky few to get a table. And @Rod- you must have caught them on a bad night. Been to Frenchie 10+ times and have never had anything but great, friendly service (especially Laura- I agree!), and a call confirming my reservation the day of. With all this talk, I’m craving Frenchie for dinner tonight!

  3. I sure hope they’re prepared for the growth; otherwise, it’ll just be more bad, unruly service and attitude with screwed up reservations. Although, I have to give him credit for hiring fantastic sommelier, Laura, what a nice refreshing change. Other friends have commented the same. Hiring the right people like Laura to meet the growth and demand makes a world of difference, and would want more of us “old-timers” to come back. Otherwise, we’ll just leave it for the tourists…

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