There’s a well-kept secret, just beneath the ebb and flow of Old Town’s busy sidewalks. Through a gap in the buildings and a short elevator ride below, the false wall at the end of a hallway creaks open and welcomes visitors to The Cellar: A Wine Library.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to hide the front door to your business, for owner Leo Temory it’s all by careful design, turning the mundane into a small adventure as you and your friends search between buildings for the secret entrance. The magic of Temory’s wine bar is the way it steadily directs attention away from itself and back to the people you walked in with.
For instance, once inside you’ll find no actual bar, only tables lit by small lamps and a few sets of leather couches facing each other with a coffee table in between. The menu is shareable, featuring appetizers and a modest selection of charcuterie boards. Even the Steinway in the corner plays Bach and Beethoven on its own, lest your attention be split between your companions and a performer.
The Cellar’s act of misdirection is a welcome reminder to be present with the people around you. There are plenty of distractions waiting for you up above, so enjoy this oasis, if only for one more glass.
Images: Paul Mowry