Wine drinkers in Dallas' Old Lake Highlands neighborhood are about to get a unique boutique in a shopping center that's been dormant for the past two years.
The shop is called Le Caveau Vinoteque and it will open in the White Rock Center, formerly Lake Highlands Village, at the corner of Buckner Boulevard and Northcliff Drive.
Located behind the Green Spot convenience stores, the center has been the talk of the neighborhood ever since a renovation began in which the entire complex was painted white. The departure of Good Local Markets was a loss, but a new management company is in the process of finding new tenants.
Le Caveau Vinoteque owner is Thierry Plumettaz, a food and beverage veteran who began his career in Dallas in the '80s at the Mansion on Turtle Creek and who was most recently a representative for Kobrand Wine & Spirits, the high-end distributor of labels such as Cakebread and Taittinger.
He's opening the shop as an alternative to the trend of big chains like Spec's that are currently sweeping across Dallas-Fort Worth. It's currently under construction, with a targeted opening of mid-August.
"This shop will be very small, it's only 1200 square feet, and personalized," he says. "I'm not going to compete against the big box stores. This is going to be more of a one-on-one when you walk in the door. 'What are you looking for? Do you need help? You're more than welcome to peruse and look at everything.'"
His inventory will run at about 500 items, versus the 8,000+ labels you'd find at a Total Wine & More.
"But I'll be doing things in heavy rotation, always something new, and it won't all be snobby," he says. "We'll have what I'm calling 'The Soccer Mom Section,' with wines people are familiar with, so you don't have to drive to Albertsons, you can just come and get it here. It's not what I'm pushing, but as a convenience for people who want that. And hopefully, when they get tired of that, I have something else of interest."
One of his main categories will be sparklers; at Kobrand, he worked on campaigns for houses such as Roederer, and he has personal connections with a number of Champagne houses such as Taittinger.
"We'll have Champagne, prosecco, everything that has bubbles," he says. "There's going to be a lot of burgundies, I love burgundy, I love Alsatian wines and Riesling, these are all wines that are designed to go with food, and I think that's important. If someone comes in and has a meal planned, we can say, 'Here are some options.'"
After working with Kobrands for three years, he has access to wines that he expects will be exclusive to his shop, and will appeal to the hardcore oenophiles.
"At Kobrands, they'd offer these pre-sale wines that never made it into the Dallas market, because no store in Dallas would order a single bottle," he says. "These were fine wines that no one in Dallas could get. So for those limited quantity offerings where there are only 20 cases coming to the Texas market, I'll be the one taking those cases that no one else has."