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Why open a new wine bar? Wine not

Andrea Korican, owner of the Living Room wine bar and restaurant, located at the new Seabreeze development. Since its opening on April 4, Korican said the establishment has seen a mix of locals and tourists. She purchases wines from all over the country to ensure her selection is unique. The dining menu was created by Four Swallows chef Gerry Ferraro.  - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Andrea Korican, owner of the Living Room wine bar and restaurant, located at the new Seabreeze development. Since its opening on April 4, Korican said the establishment has seen a mix of locals and tourists. She purchases wines from all over the country to ensure her selection is unique. The dining menu was created by Four Swallows chef Gerry Ferraro.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Food, wine and relaxation are being served at the island’s newest night spot.

Andrea Korican is lucky to have such good neighbors. And a big neighborhood.

“I’ve had at least one of my neighbors come in every night since we opened,” she said, of the three weeks since the Living Room, her new wine bar on Bjune Drive, opened its doors.

Along with her neighbors, Korican said she’s welcomed all kinds of wine-loving folks, both from the island and from afar.

The bar and restaurant, which opened April 4 at the new Seabreeze development, offers a wide selection of wine selected by Korican, and food created by Four Swallows chef Gerry Ferraro.

Visions of her business began at 38,000 feet, while Korican was a flight attendant. Already a wine buff, she sought a place where people could relax, something that many parents – she’s a mother of twins – don’t often get the chance to do.

“I was tired of going into the city for a nice glass of wine,” she said. “I wanted to create a place that was cool, funky and different.”

The result is the Living Room, where formal attire isn’t required or expected.

Korican takes a casual approach to food and wine-tasting as well, saying that people should “eat and drink what they want,” rather than what someone tells them they should want.

She leans toward red, though the food on the menu isn’t necessarily designed for any specific pairings.

Among her choicest bottles is a 2004 Rutherford Ranch Rhiannon.

“It’s a really nice blend,” she said. “It’s completely sold out on the East Coast.”

Another favorite is a 2003 Quinta Do Crasto Duoro that’s just “flying” off the racks.

Diners can choose from a selection that includes mini tenderloin burgers and a cheese plate with a fig compote. So far, Korican said, so good.

“The response has been really positive,” she said. “A lot of people have told me this is just the type of place Bainbridge needed.”

Though she’s opening alongside several new island wine ventures, Korican said the Living Room is distinct from its competition. To make sure, she tries to pick wines that aren’t found elsewhere on the island.

“I’m looking for wines you won’t find at the drugstore,” she said. “Town & Country has a great selection, but I don’t want to have all the same wines they do.”

A couple visiting the establishment can generally enjoy a good meal and wine for under $40, she said. She also encourages guests to ask questions, lest they end up drinking in the dark.

“Sometimes when people go out they’re afraid to ask questions,” she said. “That’s why I wanted to make sure this place was casual and relaxed.”

Korican said the Living Room is available for private rental, and she hopes to draw more business by staying open later than most restaurants on Bainbridge.

“The island is changing,” she said, noting that most places shut down by 9 p.m. when she and her family moved here a decade ago. Still, she hopes to deliver a genuine Bainbridge experience.

“I want people to come here for great food and fabulous wine,” she said. “I want people to experience Bainbridge Island.”

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