1618 Wine Lounge Becomes 1618 Midtown
A name is but a name, or is it? It’s a question the proprietors of 1618 Wine Lounge, newly renamed 1618 Midtown, have contemplated for several years. The establishment opened in 2011 in the Irving Park Plaza as a 38-seat lounge and bar, serving artisan cocktails, craft beers and wine.
“In the beginning, we were mainly an after-work spot, with patrons enjoying cocktails through the early evening,” said co-proprietor Nick Wilson.
Through the years, the Wine Lounge evolved into much more than a place to hang out and enjoy a glass of wine and appetizers with friends. With customers’ desires for an expanded menu growing, major renovations began in 2013, adding a 28-seat semi-private dining room to the back of the restaurant and a full kitchen, increasing the restaurant’s capacity to create a wider menu.
“We moved from an eight-item appetizer list to a full menu, offering salads, entrées and full-size desserts,” said Wilson. In 2016, a full-time pastry chef was added, creating innovative sweets like the new cranberry pistachio espresso sundae with caramel ice cream.
Location, Location, Location
As 1618 Midtown, the restaurant is now consistent with all 1618 Concepts establishments, which incorporate their physical location as part of their name. “We have 1618 Seafood Grille, which takes its name from its street address on Friendly Avenue and 1618 Downtown, which reflects its location on South Elm Street,” said Wilson.
The name also reflects the city’s newest borough: Midtown. Both Wilson and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan thought the moniker appropriate.
“I love that Nick considered adding ‘Midtown’ to such an established food empire,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. “And I hope all the businesses in this corridor fully embrace their new identity as Midtown.”
Customers visiting the newly renamed establishment will notice a few enhancements. A new menu design makes it easier to review all the offerings, and internal décor, including new lighting, new flooring by local designer Bradshaw Orrell and new seating from local manufacturer Level 4 Designs.
The restaurant celebrated the new name during an invitation-only reveal party Sunday, Jan. 15.