Eno Vino Wine Bar and Bistro is getting a new, Downtown location on the top two floors of a 10-story Marriott hotel under construction a block from the Capitol Square.
"We felt it was time to expand to a second location," said Eno Vino partner Jose Luis Granados, who is known as Pepe. "We think we can definitely bring a different level of service and standards to Downtown."
The 12-year old wine bar and small-plate restaurant is partnering with North Central Group, the hotel's Middleton-based developer. Eno Vino will keep its current location at 601 Junction Rd.
Andy Inman, vice president of development for North Central Group, said they've been working on the site for about four years, and when Marriott International brought the European AC Hotels brand to North America, they knew they wanted to get on board.
"We saw that as an exciting design and art-centric hotel brand that would be a great fit for Downtown Madison," Inman said.
The hotel at 1 N. Webster St., will be one block off the Capitol Square at the top of East Washington Avenue and North Webster Street, Kitty corner from the Glass Bank or U.S. Bank building.
"We knew the view alone was going to make the hotel successful," Inman said. They wooed Eno Vino because of its reputation and success on Madison's Far West Side.
"It really has become one of the premiere dining options in Madison," he said. "We felt that both brands, being creative, experiential brands and with AC Hotel's Spanish roots, that Eno Vino was really a natural fit."
Granados, who owns Eno Vino with Bruce Crass and John Smithe, said they like to say it is "a wine bar with great food." Eno means wine in Latin, and vino is its Spanish and Italian equivalent.
The restaurant offers about 50 wines by the glass and its wine list is about 300-bottles strong. The food focus is on small, shareable plates.
Granados points out that Eno Vino was one of the first Madison restaurants to offer small, tapas-style plates and it continues to keep that model. "We know people love it," he said.
It has also been a "farm-to-table restaurant since day one," Granados said. "We just never promoted it because it wasn't a trendy thing then."
Chef Anibal Brandt, who has been with Eno Vino for two years, will also run the Downtown kitchen. Granados said they let Brandt be creative, not holding him to Spanish, Italian or any other cuisine. As a result, the restaurant uses a "world fusion" approach, he said.
"He utilizes something from Latin America mixed with some French sauce and a spice from India mixed with Asian cuisine," Granados said.
Eno Vino offers cocktails in addition to wine, and will have a larger craft cocktail selection and focus Downtown, he said.
The new location will be about double the size of the current restaurant. The dining room will seat about 80 people and probably another 80 in the lounges located on both floors. The bar will seat an additional 40, Granados said.
Inman said that Eno Vino is allowing North Central Group to bring local flavor to the AC Hotel Madison and make the hotel a unique part of the Madison community.
Traditionally, a bar and restaurant would be located on the first or second floor, he said. But elevating it to the ninth and tenth floors provides guests with a much more memorable experience, he said.
The ninth floor will feature an outdoor terrace, an indoor terrace lounge, a two-sided indoor-outdoor fireplace and a glass partition wall that will allow them to bring the outdoors to the indoors in the summer months, Inman said. The main dining room will be on tenth floor, where there will be another fireplace and "soft-seating area."
Both the 165-room hotel and the new, 10,000-square-foot restaurant will open in late April or early May in time for UW-Madison graduation, Inman said.