On Tuesday, December 13, I learned from over five reliable sources that The Cellar Wine Bar and Restaurant was closing its doors. Much like the fall of the Loose Goose, I asked wine people to share their positive memories of time spent in The Cellar:
Steve Lemley, winemaker, Pulchella Winery – DiMaggio is a poster child for passion in the industry and he deserves to succeed in that passion…His love and knowledge of wine is to be admired and I love that he takes such a humble approach to everything. He is a true friend of ours forever!!!
Carrie DuShey – Oh no I am so sad to hear this! The Cellar was the home of the f-in blonde drinking crew.
Stephen Hemmert, local winemaker – As his food sales rep, I had no idea he was closing. I have fond memories of it as both the cellar and all corked up. Really sad and I wish d man the best.
Ron Cappi – Sad to hear. Wishing nothing but the best for DiMaggio’s future.
Donna Lewis – So sorry to hear that…..I have thousands of great pictures and great memories of the past 4 years or so, not to mention some great friends we’ve developed over the years.
Beth Greenwald – I enjoyed working there very much. My co workers were great, those in the WSET class that I was fortunate to meet, and all the great friends that I have met through the Cellar. I wish DiMaggio the best in his future endeavors.
Louise Castaldo, owner of the VU and Mixers – I was there today and yes it was very sad, DiMaggio told me that is was over, and they were taking everything away while we spoke, he’s a great guy it just broke my heart. He has some killer wine and some glassware for sale, I wish him all the best.
Dr. Joel M. Fisher, Founder, LA Wine Fest – Went up earlier in spring to meet with Victor next door. Then, being hungry, went looking for DiMaggio. If memory serves me right, he was en route to the hospital. Brandon Drake and I sat down for some wine, hot soup, and an entree. Food was warm, and it was cold outside. When we finished, walked back through All Corked Up to go out to the car. Imagine my shock when I walk into snow blowing into the shop, and looked at my car covered with snow. Brandon’s car, too. He couldn’t start the engine, so we called AAA. I got out of there, concerned on making it home going a different route than my normal one, and eventually made it past a bunch of accidents, and cars skidding. DiMaggio, from the hospital, later told me a kind of record had been set by accidents happening and sending people to the hospital where he was. I thought the place had great potential, and I’m sorry he closed the doors. It is tough out there, gang.
Mary Bradway, former student – WOW! So sorry to hear that!
Courtnie Culp – I only got to go once before our son’s accident and not having a car but I had planned on going way more often when we get our new car in January. There’s just no place like The Cellar in anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of wonderful wine lounges but just not quite like The Cellar. It’s more intimate. The time I was there it literally felt like an escape from everything. Like I was sitting at a little roadside wine vineyard in Italy completely consumed and satisfied to be somewhere gorgeous and away from life’s hustle and bustle. You don’t get to feel like you’ve escaped to another world too often while wining and dining out. It would be a shame for such a place to have closed.
Lorraine Plourde – Aww that was a fun place!! Good Luck Dimaggio!!
Joe Romersa – DiMaggio, thank you for multiple nights of music and wine! And end brings on new beginnings. Sad to hear the silence of The Cellar. Good luck sir.
Claudia Sheridan, former student – sad
Rusty Sly, staff writer, Eve’s Wine 101 – It is hard for me to see another fine wine bar become the victim of our economy. I wrote an article in eveswine101.com talking about how we must go out of our way to support these establishments. If we don’t, we will have no place to go and share wines, music and great friends. I wish Di Maggio and the entire staff the best. We will truly miss them. I tip a glass to you guys and all of the good times we shared at the Cellar.
Kevin Agovino – Sorry to hear. Wishing you the best in your future ventures.
Julio F. Del Rio – DiMaggio, keep us posted of your new ventures as we will follow where you go.
Joe Iaquinto – YOU WILL BE MISSED!!!
Ckay Walker – so sad to hear this… best to you in the coming year.
Dave Carter – DiMaggio – We’re so sorry to hear that you’re closing. The Masters of the Past held your establishment and you in very high regard and we always enjoyed playing at The Cellar. Best of Luck to you and God Bless.
Lauri Caston – I am so sad to hear this. Please keep us posted on future plans. Will miss you!
From me – I’ve known DiMaggio for a few years now. I first met him when I sought him out for an interview on his wine classes at COC. From there I sat in on a couple of his classes and took several more. I’ve been to his home for harvest and for a couple of parties. We have many mutual friends.
When he decided to delve into taking over the wine bar and restaurant formerly owned by All Corked Up, I was happy for him and our growing wine community. (And, as my Contributing Editor, Michael Perlis, loves to remind me, DiMaggio was the owner of the first wine bar to ever open in Santa Clarita, Select Wines on Cinema Drive. I remember it for the cave he had built for private meetings and tastings.)
But, to be honest, I didn’t get over to that part of our valley very often. I went for the Saturday tastings a few times, a few private parties, and most memorably, to attend his Wine and Spirit Education Trust classes and gain my Level Two Intermediate certification.
I wish I could have supported my friend more. Take this, if nothing else wine peeps, if you love a wine bar or restaurant – frequent it. In these times our business is paramount to theirs.
And, from the Cellar, came this announcement: December 15, 2011
To All of Our Wonderful Customers,
It is with our deepest regret to announce that effective December 14th 2011, The Cellar Wine Bar & Restaurant has officially closed our doors.
We would like to take this time to thank each and every one of you for your kindness, loyalty and continued support over the past 15 months. Some of you have been students, customers and friends of ours for a number of years; again, thank you!
We appreciate the wonderful memories you’ve shared with us and thank you in advance for your continued support and kindness.
Wishing all of you many wonderful memories over this holiday season to include wine, of course and all the best in 2012!
DiMaggio Washington & Staff
The Cellar Wine Bar & Restaurant
PS – If you would like to add a positive message please feel free to comment on this post, thanks Dear Wine Friends.