Follow forward: The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark

Wine Bar and Bistro Exterior.jpg

Soon to be under new ownership.

AOA is taking things a little easy this week for summer break. So we thought it'd be a good time to catch up with some local businesses we've covered during the last year (or so) and find out how things are going. But our last post of the week flips things a bit -- we're looking to the future of a local business that's changing hands.

Nine years ago, chef Kevin Everleth opened The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark and turned a small wine and tapas bar into a popular neighborhood jewel. The food was always delicious, the staff was always welcoming, and the wine selection was always varied and interesting.

But Everleth is fond of saying about restaurants, "I buy them, I build them, and I sell them." And so, after nine years, he says it's time for him to move on. This week Everleth announced that he is selling The Wine Bar to one of his employees, Silvia Lilly, who currently works at the restaurant a few nights a week. (Lilly is a school librarian by day. And, of course, she lives in Albany's Delaware Ave neighborhood.)

Lilly has never owned a restaurant, but she's been working in Capital Region restaurants for more than 20 years and she's passionate about the business. And she's excited about carrying on the business Everleth founded.

What prompted you to take this step? What do you plan to change?

The one word answer is timing. Had this opportunity presented at a different time in the year, I wouldn't have been able to devote the time and attention to all of the paperwork and tedium of starting a business.

As far as changes, they'll be minimal for now because what I'm building on is a great foundation. Changes will be prompted by my sensibilities relating to hospitality -- we'll begin accepting reservations for parties of 5+, I'll tweak the interior to add a few feminine touches, and the name, of course [Lark & Lily Wine Bar & Kitchen].

kevin everleth and silvia lilly
Kevin Everleth and Silvia Lilly. / Silvia Lilly photo courtesy of herself

What sorts of challenges do you expect to encounter?

I'm fortunate to be in the process of acquiring an established business with a solid staff, so I think my challenges will be related to time management and creating a new equilibrium in life.

What's something that you are thinking or hoping you might learn from this experience?

I understand that I have a lot to learn about the back-of-the-house, day-to-day, running of a restaurant, but I also feel as if I have a lot of front of the house knowledge to share.

I don't define success by making tons of money. Never have. I want to be successful in terms of giving our guests a memorable and positive experience from the moment they walk in the door.

Wine Bar int 1.jpg

Is there one particular frustration that you're facing that if you could just wipe that away, it would make a difference for you?

The bureaucratic demands of purchasing a business, incorporating, and completing all the necessary documentation for various applications can be overwhelming. Thank goodness for mentors, contacts, and professionals!

What kind of development would feel like a win?

I want to be the neighborhood spot -- for a cocktail, a few appetizers, a snack, or a three-course meal with a bottle of wine. Seeing the same faces frequently, while also bringing back customers who have been away for awhile, would be a victory.

Wine Bar Patio 1.jpg

What is next, what do you see happening?

My hope is to carry the vision Kevin Everleth introduced nearly nine years ago, further by capitalizing on my experiences and connections in the Albany area. I'd like to do some "cross-pollination" promotion with other local businesses like Capital Wine and Liquor, The Cheese Traveler, and Nine Pin Cider Works to name a few.

This interview has been lightly edited.
____

More follow-ups from this week:
+ Bread and Honey
+ Follow up: Collar City Hard Pressed
+ Fort Orange General Store
+ Brew

Find It

The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark
200 Lark St
Albany, NY 12210

Comments

I've been to the Wine Bar twice. The first time was for a date, we got a small appetizer and a few drinks each. A pretty good experience, the place is certainly cozy. I was bumping into people at other tables and I'm not a particularly large guy.

The second time, I felt like I got even less food for more money. For such a tiny place, it was amazing how little attention the waitresses paid to us. It was a good 15 minutes just trying to pay my bill.

Now when I want to go out to a spot like that, it's Lucas Confectionary all the way. They do it right. Nice servers, a beautiful space, and a varied menu for however much you feel like spending.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

The Glynn Mansion and the story of Martin Glynn

Overlooking Washington Park very close to where State Street and Willett Street meet stands a three-story, pink sandstone building with a Romanesque design and an... (more)

Dylan Ratigan has jumped into the pool of challengers to Elise Stefanik

The Congressional elections this fall will be a big and important story as the Democrats try to take a majority in at least one of... (more)

Siena Hip-Hop Week 2018: Masta Killa

Siena's annual Hip-Hop Week returns in March. And this year's keynote speaker is Masta Kill from the the Wu-Tang Clan -- he'll be at the... (more)

Imagine Dragons at SPAC

The latest pop concert announcement for SPAC: Imagine Dragons on June 29. Tickets go on sale March 3 -- they're $35 (lawn) and up. (There's... (more)

What's up in the Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: frustration and the unfortunately predictable cycle, Thacher Park, Will Hicok Low,... (more)

Recent Comments

Definitely needs a mural. Another spot that is begging for one is the Delaware Ave Price Chopper in Albany. The side along Elm St is a huge gray wall that takes up most of the block!

Dylan Ratigan has jumped into the pool of challengers to Elise Stefanik

...has 3 comments, most recently from MATTY13

The Glynn Mansion and the story of Martin Glynn

...has 1 comment, most recently from BS

Big downtown residential project approved (again), street ownership intrigue, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

...has 4 comments, most recently from BC

When the downtown street trees reached wide

...has 7 comments, most recently from greg

Morning Blend for Feb 21

...has 1 comment, most recently from Jackers