Bar Brunello, a new wine bar, has opened in the former Bar Lusconi space in downtown Durham.
The bar is a long-term dream of Esteban Brunello who moved here with his wife, Cara, about 18 months ago.
Brunello, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, came to the United States to work at Fairmont, a luxury hotel in San Francisco’s tony Nob Hill neighborhood, according to his wife. He started busing tables and moved up to server, manager and wine director, his wife explained. Eventually, he ended up working at SPQR, an Italian restaurant run by chef Matthew Accarrino and wine director Shelley Lindgren that has earned one Michelin star.
Cara Brunello explained that the wine bar focuses on Old World wines from France, Spain, Germany and Italian. Her husband is a certified Italian wine specialist. But the bar also serves wines from regions not as well known for their wines, such as Macedonia, Croatia, Greece and Lebanon. It also serves beer and cider. The bar also serves cheese, pate and charcuterie.
“It’s a wine bar. It’s not stuffy. He wants people to come in and talk about wine -- if they want to do that,” Cara Brunello explains. “It’s really about finding things people enjoy drinking.”
Bar Brunello is at 117 E. Main St., Durham; 919-294-4825, facebook.com/BarBrunello/; Hours: 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 4-12 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.