When he sold the Kingfish restaurant in Bay City, co-owner Greg Kimbrue wasn’t ready to hang up his bar towel.
After being in the wine and restaurant business for 25 years, Kimbrue was looking for something different. When he found a 5,600-square-foot building on Bay City’s Midland Street, he and wife Peggy set about making that difference come true.
“When this property became available, it presented a great opportunity,” Kimbrue says. “All the pieces of the puzzle were here. It just took creativity and ingenuity to put the space together.”
That space turned into three distinct but connected areas: VNO New Age Restaurant & Wine Warehouse and Bay City Grill & Bar.
The wine warehouse, the middle area, is Kimbrue’s favorite. Bottles of wine in every price range are available for purchase and stocked along the walls.
This is a place for both the wine novice and the expert connoisseur. Kimbrue offers wine tastings for groups and individuals. For a group of 10, a tasting of five different wines is $6.50 per person.
“We welcome groups of any size to do a wine tasting,” he says. “It’s a wine education. I talk about how to taste it (wine) properly, open it (wine bottles) properly, [and] how to match a wine with food.”
Flanking one side of the wine warehouse is the VNO New Age Restaurant, featuring tapas, or small-plate appetizers. The small plates include everything from a spicy buffalo shrimp dip for $7.95 to mac-n-cheese beef sliders for $5.95.
“The tapas, or small plates, is one of the biggest things going coast to coast,” Kimbrue says. “I wanted to think outside the box, change the menu continually, [and] provide different things in different combinations.”
The other side of the building, the Bay City Grill & Bar, is all about sports. Diners can enjoy burgers, sandwiches, salads, and chicken wings while catching a game on one of the four 60-inch TVs.
During the summer, restaurant patrons have the option to eat outside on the sidewalk café or on the deck out back. Seasonal dishes feature local produce and barbecue.
“It’s a little bit of something for everyone,” says Kimbrue.
VNO New Age Restaurant & Wine Warehouse and Bay City Grill & Bar, 508, 510, and 512 Midland St, Bay City, 989-460-0117 (VNO New Age Restaurant), 989-460-0116 (Bay City Grill & Bar), wwwvnowinebc.com. Hours: Monday – Thursday (11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.), Friday (11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.), Saturday (12 p.m. – 1 a.m.), and Sunday (12 p.m. – 10 p.m.).