POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – After being closed for nearly a month, the former Mariela’s Wine & Espresso Bar in Scotts Corners will reopen Friday with a new look, a new name and a new manager.
Former manager Alex Rubeo, who also runs neighboring Pound Ridge Wine & Spirits, has stepped aside and Charles Guilianti, who owns Salon Perri, has taken over. Rubeo first opened the bar in July of last year.
Guilianti said the physical transformation has been subtle. He moved the entrance to the rear of the building to create a “speak-easy” feeling. The doorway is now steps from the parking lot. He’s added an array of seating choices, such as a romantic table for two dressed with candles and white tablecloth, as well as a sofa and armchairs that inhabit the space created by the new entrance. You can also perch at the bar where a sign reminds: “You’ll be Fine; Drink Good Wine.”
But the bar is not just a romantic spot for couples. Guilianti says it’s “a nice place for women to meet for salad and a glass of Prosecco.”
The bar now has a creative mixologist who will make champagne cocktails, sake-mixed cocktails or “mocktails” – and, of course, there’s fine wine.
Guilianti said he’s excited about the new menu as well – small plates that offer things such as “sushi Italiano,” which are rolled delicacies, as well as crostini with a variety of toppings. The bar will also have a vegetarian offering along with healthy, light options.
“A diner can have a nice meal and a glass of wine for about $20,” said Guilianti, who knows a lot about food and wine as a result of his childhood, when he learned about the industry from his family. He eventually became a “foodie.”
The name change has been subtle as well. The establishment is now known as Mariela Rossi Wine Lounge. Rossi is the last name of Guilianti’s fiancé, and it also means “red wine” in Italian.
Music will continue to be a large part of the Mariela experience. Guilianti said he foresees a “steady stream of music suited to a European wine bar, some live, occasionally a DJ.”
Although Mariela Rossi will open just for dinner, Guilianti will make it available for events and parties.
The bar will be open from 6 p.m. to closing Thursday to Saturday, and 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday. There will be Happy Hour specials from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.