I pulled up to All Corked Up one recent afternoon for my meeting with Al Robles to discuss his soon-to-be open restaurant/wine bar: Cheers at All Corked Up. I was a little early, so I went inside and, of course, immediately gravitated to what used to be our “usual” table. As I sat there, I mulled over how much we all missed the camaraderie from the not-so-old days, as well as sharing good wine, food and conversation.
Soon I was joined by Al, as well as his partners in this venture — Terri and Carolyn. [Carolyn, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, will be the restaurant’s primary chef.]
They told me that the menu will be a combination of classical dishes [I heard mention of salmon, osso bucco, and carpaccio], as well as Latin dishes from the owners’ Puerto Rican heritage. Some of the Puerto Rican dishes mentioned were:
Mofongo [a plantain-based dish]
Pasteles [similar to a tamale]
and Arroz Con Gandules [rice with green pigeon peas].
I am sure my basic descriptions do not do these dishes justice.
While I did not get an opportunity to sample any of their dishes [yet], Al did show me some pictures he took from a recent private lunch they hosted. If they taste half as good as they look, we are all in for a treat.
Al is also a partner, with his daughter and son-in-law, in Sabor Latino Supermarkets in Canyon Country. With that connection, All said they “will be able to get the freshest and best meat for our restaurant”.
The plan is to make the restaurant more family-friendly, with additional seating and booths in the main room where the wine racks used to be.
But not to worry for those who previously enjoyed the entertainment and dancing – the dance floor will still be there and the plan is to bring in entertainment. I expect to see many of our local favorites there, as well as new bands, as Al wants to be able to provide a variety of entertainment.
Initially, wine and beer will be served, with the possibility of a full bar sometime in the future, depending on demand.
And speaking of wine, good news for All Corked Up locker members: Al said that for the first couple of months there will be no corkage charge to them. After that, a corkage charge will be initiated.
Al has not decided what it will be yet, but is determined to keep it reasonable.
Al wants Eve’s Wine 101 readers to know that they should plan to come in for the “best Latin American food they will ever run into, as well as a stepped-up wine selection”. And that they expect to have special events in what will be called the VIP room, including wine tasting events.
The plan is to expand and cover the patio area as well, with a separate entrance directly into the patio.
The initial plan was to open at the beginning of April, but they may open a few days earlier. As soon I know for sure, I’ll post it here. And as soon as the interior changes are done, I’ll try to get pictures of them up as well.
My final impression is that these are people who really understand the need to take care of their customers, from the moment they walk in the door to the moment they leave, and all that goes on in-between. I am greatly looking forward to the grand opening of Cheers at All Corked Up.
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.