Simplicity Wine Bar and Lounge has opened at 310 Malcolm X Boulevard between Decatur and McDonough Streets.
Husband-and-wife team and owners Charisse Curiel, 33, and Christian Curiel, 35, along with co-owner Jose Luis Rosario debuted the restaurant on Monday, January 7, to provide a comfortable, safe place in Bed-Stuy where people can come to “unplug,” and relax, said co-owner Christian.
“I had a vision about this years ago,” said Christian, who was born and raised in Bed-Stuy. “I wanted to create a place where you can take date—a place that gives the feeling of being in upper Manhattan but without upper Manhattan prices, and a place where people in the neighborhood wouldn’t have to travel so far to get a nice glass of wine or good meal.”
Barely one week old, the lounge carries a feel like it has been there already for years. And to think, it almost didn’t happen:
“He always wanted a bar lounge,” said Charisse, pointing to her husband. “And I was like, ‘Why not?’ And finally, I said to him, ‘You know what? I think we need to do this.’ Let’s just take the risk! Because if not, we’ll be working our entire lives for someone else and look back and say ‘Wow, I really wanted to do that and I never did.’
“So in June I told him, ‘Let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s do it…’ And finally he said, ‘Fine, let’s do it.’ So we did a business plan the size of a loose-leaf book,” said Charisse, gesturing like she was holding something the size of an encyclopedia.
The business plan included everything from the design lay-out, to the feel, to the price-point, to the desired customer-base. “We tried to think of everything, everything...” she said with excitement.
They presented the plan to Bridge Street Development Corporation, was accepted, began the construction. And boom: Simplicity was born after about a nine-month gestation.
The restaurant’s design has a stylish, yet simple light-heartedness about it, while the ambiance carries a magic that evokes a feel of sunny springtime in winter and an autumn coolness during summer.
At the very least, Simplicity is a local retreat for anyone seeking a simple place to sit back, ingest and imbibe.
But don’t go there expecting a four-course meal: It’s a lounge. So, although the restaurant has a kitchen and it does serve some breakfast items, during the evening hours, you’ll find only tapas, sandwiches and desserts on the menu.
And then, there’s the wine:
“We hired a sommelier, who’s doing our entire selection,” said Christian. “Even some of our desserts have a wine theme.”
He’s talking about the Peach & Pear White Wine Parfait and the Red Berry and Red Wine Parfait. They also sell Tres Leche Cupcakes and Cayenne-spiced chocolate cupcakes.
Simplicity is an ideal place to host small private events, and the owners plan to cater and offer delivery very soon.
“It’s been growing and getting better every day,” said Charisse of Simplicity’s traffic so far. “We’ve already had a few repeats come in. So it’s been great for the first week.”
Simplicity is open Monday – Thursday, from 7:00am – 11:00 p.m.; on Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m. For more information, call 718-604-4780.