The mysterious closing of Benitz Bistro down on Somerset last year brought disappointed sighs from around the city. For Tim Barton and Brad Henderson, though, that close resulted in one of their biggest opportunities to date: opening their own restaurant. But things are never as easy as they sound – from the start, this duo had a challenge ahead. When they walked into the space for the first time, it was set up just as it was when Benitz was actually open – dinner plates, cutlery, glasses all impeccably laid out on the tables, but with just a serving of dust on display.
So they got down to work and a few months later, opened 327 Wine Bar. They’ve redone the restaurant, making the bar a central focus with a great patio and classy decor. But we know you don’t go out just to be in a different space – it’s really all about the food! As chefs, both Tim and Brad have been envisioning different wine pairings for their creative dishes since the start. With a menu filled with local treats, they’ll be taking turns in the kitchen from week to week, and mentioned that they’ll have a bit of a dueling chefs thing going. When they’re not in the kitchen, they’re greeting diners out at the bar, which is the perfect spot for an after work drink and some tasty appetizers.
And they’re not going to kick people out just to make sure they close on time – if you need a full meal at 1:30am, they’ll keep cooking as long as you’re hungry. I sat down with Brad and Tim in the comfy, living-room-esque area at the back of the restaurant, and chatted about their vision for the place, their latest wine picks, and what they’re most excited to cook in the kitchen. (Don’t mind the Looneytunes break partway through… it’s just a phone ringing for one of the busy guys!)
327 Wine Bar is open Tuesday-Saturday, from 4pm until close. When is close? Whenever you want it to be! They’ll keep it open as late as people keep coming.