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Popular Henderson restaurant opening a sister wine bar down the street

Updated February 1, 2024 - 9:43 am

Mr. Kimsey built his dream house (and office). Then his dream restaurant. Now, he’s building his dream wine bar.

Windom Kimsey, principal of TSK Architects, constructed the distinctive complex of buildings on South Water Street in Henderson that encompasses his row house and firm in the center, Azzurra Cucina Italiana to the north and Public Works Coffee Shop to the south.

The coffee spot is being refashioned into a space housing Azzurra Wine Bar during the evening and Public Works during the day. The debut is planned for early May at 314 S. Water St. Public Works remains open during the renovation.

The reservations-only Azzurra restaurant (322 S. Water St.) is stylish but snug, with only a few seats at its bar.

“I wanted a place where people could wait for their table,” Kimsey said of the wine bar. “I also like having a place where you can buy some wine, taste some flights and have a different experience than at the restaurant. Some people just want to go have drinks and not have dinner at all.

“I’m trying to elevate the offerings on Water Street.”

Wine service; light menu

A new front and back bar for wine, modeled after the bar at Azzurra Cucina, and an upgraded coffee counter anchor the conversion, joined by a variety of table seating, lounge seating, and the community room that might contain wine retail or host wine classes.

The wines at the new bar will draw on selections at the restaurant, mainly Italy and California, but explore more deeply into Italy and releases from France and Spain. Wine dinners, about to launch at the restaurant, might inform the list at the bar (and vice versa)

Alessandra Madeira, executive chef of Azzurra Cucina, which marks its first anniversary in February, is creating a separate menu for the wine bar featuring charcuterie, panini and lighter items. “For the full meal, you go to the restaurant,” Kimsey said. “The wine bar,” he added, “is going to evolve as we test the marketplace.”

Up on on the roof

Kimsey ranks among the leading figures in the renewal of Water Street, and Azzurra Wine Bar is just his opening serve in the bar game, he said.

“I’ve got a four-story building that’s going to have a rooftop bar. The goal is to make it tall enough to see the Strip. I have to go fly the drone out to see what my set height is. See if I need five stories.”

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @JLWTaste on Instagram and @ItsJLW on X.

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