Later this week the fourth and largest location of Postino Wine Cafe will open its doors to the public. Dubbed Postino Annex, the new restaurant and wine bar is located inside the historic Art Annex building at 615 S. College Avenue, just steps from the heart of the Arizona State University campus.
We swung by the new dining spot to get a tour of the space and chat with Upward Project's Craig DeMarco and Lauren Bailey.
The 4,200 square-foot restaurant and wine bar is the largest of the Postino locations to date. But for Upward Projects' owners -- Craig and Kris DeMarco and Lauren and Wyatt Bailey -- this newest location is about more than just reinvigorating another historical building. All four partners are ASU alumni and Lauren Bailey, who studied art, used to work in the former Art Annex when she was in school.
"I think for all of us, this is going back to our roots," she says.
In terms of the design, Postino Annex can be thought of a sort of "Postino 2.0," Bailey says. Though they tried to incorporate elements that will be familiar to Postino fans, the owners also wanted give a different type of experience, one more tailored to the blossoming Tempe neighborhood.
Roll-up garage doors along the east side of the building lead out to a spacious patio Bailey describes as "Fern Gully." Along with metal tables and chairs, the outdoor dining space features wooden planter boxes with a variety of plants and some cozy seating areas with sofas, chairs, and eventually, a large fireplace.
As at the Postino Central, the restaurant features an indoor-outdoor bar that offers plenty of seating. In total, DeMarco and Bailey estimate Postino Annex can seat about 200 people. The space is also equipped with a large catering kitchen. The bar is equipped with 16 tap handles, two of which are nitro.
All of the furniture at Postino Annex, as at all of the locations, was either custom-made for the restaurant or sourced from local vintage shops including Modern Manor, Modern on Melrose, and even the recent Junk in the Trunk Market. Vintage pieces include the set of coordinating couches in the rear of the restaurant and a yellow rolling cart. A set of custom-made bookcases set off a large table from the rest of the dining room. With Postino Annex the owners tried to provide more dining space for larger parties.
As far as art, Postino Annex has a few unique pieces. There's the requisite space invader on the wall (there's one at each Postino location) and a fun collage of Polaroids featuring the faces of all those who worked on the project.
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DeMarco also went old-school with the artwork. Look for prints from well-known skateboard photographer J. Grant Brittain and found vintage posters of Tempe bands, The Gin Blossoms and The Refreshments.
The menu at Postino Annex will be the same as at the other four Postino locations. That means you can expect an ever-changing menu of wines and a selection of sandwiches, salads, and of course, the famous bruschetta. Brunch will be available on Sundays as well as the popular $20 Bottle and Board (bottle of wine and a board of bruschetta) on Monday and Tuesday nights.
For more information check the Postino website.