“It’s hard to look cool eating one of these,” says Cooper Langdon, risking a gaffe for another spoonful of gourmet mac and cheese, courtesy of Sienna Wine Bar and Small Plates’ Grand Opening Celebration. A chocolate fondue fountain trickles down, while reds, whites, sparklings and roses greet outstretched hands. Deep within the hand-crafted bar, gallions, medallions and treasured tzochkes from friends and family lie embedded in a sea of glitter, to lean on and admire for all time.
“We throw glitter on any old problem around here,” says proprietress Mary Kent, with a laugh. Over the past eight months, she and fiancé Quince Rickard transformed the 20 year-old hair salon into the enchanted new Sienna, the color of the warm walls and the late afternoon sun sparkling off the vintage crystal chandelier. Plush, funky chaise lounges, eclectically gorgeous décor and the most inspired bathroom imaginable: enter deep red walls and ceiling, with a translucent floor of red silk roses underfoot.
“We live here and love our neighbors, and everyone’s been yearning for an affordable gathering place of their own,” says Rickard. Introducing Sienna, a gathering place for all ages, with root beer floats and Nutella sandwiches served alongside top shelf cheese platters, sparkling red Brachetto and Peach Bellinis. The wine list is poetic, the beers comprehensive and though only three blocks from Colfax, Sienna seems an intimate world away.
Afternoon turns to evening and the crowd keeps coming. A visitor from the Highlands congratulates Kent on her coup: “Everything at the Highlands is so hip. And cool. And Yuppie. It’s great to have a nice place like this, a real place, to spend some time.” Restauranteur Rob Kuck smiles in agreement. “This is a real neighborhood place…And Mary? She’s overflowing with personality and warmth. People want to get to know Mary!”