Presenting 100 Wines: Cohn Restaurant Group Dream Team Debuts Rustic, Small Plate Neighborhood Wine Bar & Bistro in the Heart of Hillcrest

August 1, 2012

The creative minds behind BO-beau kitchen + bar will open doors to 100 Wines Hillcrest in mid-August on University Ave. The apothecarian-inspired space from the Cohn Restaurant Group and Parisian designer Philippe Beltran boasts reclaimed and repurposed accents picked up from Beltran's travels to create an old-world design evocative of a cozy European bistro. Local culinary force, Executive Chef Katherine Humphus, takes the reigns in the kitchen with a menu of European portion-size shared plates. The dishes are packed with her signature modern flavor combinations and are inspired by her own travels to Spain, France, Italy and Greece.

David and Lesley Cohn
Cohn Restaurant Group founders, David and Lesley Cohn, expand their growing repertoire with a return to their original stomping grounds as they unveil 100 Wines Hillcrest. The Cohn’s have been embedded in the Hillcrest area since 1987 when they opened Corvette Diner, the couple’s first hospitality venture, and in late August 2012 are returning to the enclave with a concept dedicated to social dining.

Enlisted to head up the project is none other than Executive Chef Katherine Humphus and designer Philippe Beltran, the powerhouse players behind the successful bohemian Ocean Beach bungalow, BO-beau kitchen + bar. “We love Hillcrest," says Lesley Cohn. "We adore the neighborhood and hope to fill a current void found on University with a community destination that celebrates good wine and delicious food in a warm and intimate setting. Philippe and Katherine both bring so much to the table and together, their collaborative spirit creates the perfect juxtaposition of European plates and old-world design."

Sneak Peak
A traveled and inspired Parisian, Beltran is also an award-winning designer who brought his eclectic aesthetic to the likes of Kensington’s Bleu Bohème and Vagabond in South Park. With this central University Ave location, Beltran has dreamed up a 2,500 square foot apothecary-inspired space reminiscent of an old wine bistro that might be found tucked away on the historic cobblestone alleys of Europe. The cozy space effortlessly combines elements both rustic and upscale to bolster the venue’s elegant yet unpretentious atmosphere. Upon entering, guests are met by a custom wine bar crafted to resemble a 1920’s era Italian pharmacy with features including floor-to-ceiling wine cubbies and reclaimed accents such as old lockers and depression era glass canisters. Reformed wine barrel chandeliers welded with wrought iron swathe a dim glow over the stone & plaster walls. Exposed wood rafters reveal oxidized ceiling panels with the handwritten first names of the construction and design crew as well as a heartfelt thank you note from Beltran to his team. The concept also features a front alfresco patio and a cozy back terrace with an oversized fireplace and lounge seating for 40.

Chef Katherine Humphus
As the muse behind BO-beau kitchen + bar’s award-winning food program and a top female chef to watch in 2012, Chef Humphus will breathe fresh new life into the Hillcrest dining scene with a repertoire boasting heavy influence from Spain, France, Italy and touches of other Mediterranean countries. Known for rustic boards and a current twist on Euro classics, Humphus will showcase a number of shared small-plates on the 100 Wines “MED” menu (short for Mediterranean). Items featured will include starters such as bone marrow with brandied cherries and preserved lemon, spanekopita pizza with dill cream cheese, spinach, feta, phyllo and a fried egg and mains such as brown butter seared scallops with blueberry reduction and freeform ravioli with pecorino, pear and butter sage sauce.

From 100 Wines Facebook Page
At the heart of the concept is the restaurant’s namesake: wine. 100 Wines will feature a vast array of wines ranging from local California to international selections with varietals sold by the glass and by the bottle.Through a unique program, guests will be able to browse though selections priced in categories of $20, $30 and $40+ per bottle. 100 Wines Hillcrest will also offer a full bar including a dedicated craft cocktail menu that will further the social dining concept with a variety of communal cocktails that encourage patrons to share what they imbibe. The menu will include spirit-driven drinks with liquors indigenous to Mediterranean countries such as Spanish sherry, Italian amari & grappi and French artisanal liqueurs like Combier.

100 Wines Hillcrest is located on 1027 University Avenue and will open to the public in mid August 2012. More information can be found at, on 100 Wines Hillcrest Facebook page, or by calling 619-491-0100.

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