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Vino Rosina to close, Sandlin planning new restaurant

July 2, 2013
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45Vino Rosina will close on July 20th after three years. But Jesse Sandlin, the Top Chef alum who opened the Harbor East spot, left for a spell and returned, is closing the place with glee in her voice and a glint in her eye.

When the the wine-focused, small plates venue opened three years ago, Sandlin reminds us, it was unique. Since then the neighborhood has spawned plenty of competition, leading to a “steep decline” in business, she says. “Now we have a similar concept in the same building,” (referring, no doubt, to the Bagby Group’s Ten Ten).

The closing won’t be for too long, however. Sandlin and friends, including current owner Jim Lancaster and a couple of new investors, she says, won’t be taking any breaks. After Vino close on July 20, Sandlin anticipates re-opening with a new name and refreshed cuisine sometime around restaurant week, (July 26-August 4), though she isn’t carving the date in stone.

As for the new concept, she isn’t saying. “There will be a little bit of genre, but I can’t let you know just yet,” she offers coyly. What she will say is this: “We want to be an environment that everyone can feel comfortable in. Forget about all this trendy bullshit.” The menu will follow a classic “appetizer-entrée format.” The sociable bar is staying. The price point will be “reasonable.” It’s not going to be pizza. And “no $7 cups of coffee. Promise.” Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Vino Rosina will be offering specials between now and closing day:

* 1/2 priced bottles of wine every day
* $4 for any beer, draft, or bottle every day
* 1/2 priced wines by the glass on Monday
* Wednesday Service Industry Night: 50% off your check for service industry professionals
* $10 cheese boards, Friday and Saturday