Published January 13, 2016
Orinda Wine Bar Opens for Business
By Victor Ryerson
Photo Ohlen Alexander
CinĒ Cuvee, the long-awaited wine bar next to the Orinda Theatre, made a "soft" opening Dec. 31, serving wine and beer to moviegoers and others who happened to wander in. The official grand opening was Jan. 8.
Conceived as "an extension of the (theater's) refreshment stand," co-owner Derek Zemrak explains that the intimate Hollywood-themed venue capitalizes on a growing trend of offering alcoholic beverages in movie theaters. Some theaters, like the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito in El Cerrito, serve food, as well as beer and wine, at moviegoers' seats. Architectural and other limitations currently prevent expansion of Cine Cuvee's offerings to that extent, but eventually Zemrak hopes to isolate the small theater in the Orinda complex and limit attendance to those over 21 years old so alcohol can be served. That may be a long time coming because of daunting Alcoholic Beverage Control Board regulations and other requirements. It was difficult enough to obtain approval for what has been done to date, he says, and the complexities of doing so caused significant delays in opening the cozy venue.
As a film lover, theater operator, and founder and president of the California Independent Film Festival, Zemrak is in a unique position to run the wine bar, which features wines with a Hollywood connection. He plans to host special event tastings, tentatively starting in February with one at which Vincent Price's daughter, Victoria Price, will present wines from the family's Vincent Price Signature Wine Collection.
Cine Cuvee's hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

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