The Scoop: Augustine Wine Bar Coming to Sherman Oaks

Since noting news in this column of a Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control application for a beer and wine license posted in July, many readers have asked about what is happening at the Sherman Oaks building located at Ventura and Sunnyslope (once occupied by Brats Brothers and Paul’s, as well as by a laundromat and furniture outlet and other businesses since the mid-1940s). […]

Since noting news in this column of a Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control application for a beer and wine license posted in July, many readers have asked about what is happening at the Sherman Oaks building located at Ventura and Sunnyslope (once occupied by Brats Brothers and Paul’s, as well as by a laundromat and furniture outlet and other businesses since the mid-1940s).

Well here’s the scoop. It is set to be a wine bar called Augustine and slated to open in January with a significant force behind it: Matthew Kaner and Dustin Lancaster, who own Bar Covell in Los Feliz, which was featured in Esquire's "Best Bars in America." Moreover, in 2013 Matthew was named one of 11 sommeliers of the year by Food & Wine, while Dustin is a seasoned restaurateur with four restaurants/bars to his name (including L&E Oyster House). They partnered with David Gibbs, a Sherman Oaks resident, who according to Matthew “prodded Dustin and I to open a Covell-esque wine bar in his neighborhood to make his life more convenient, and we ultimately urged him to open the wine bar himself. Next thing we knew, a partnership was born.” 

David, who is a singer-songwriter-producer/touring musician with a slew of television, film and theatre credits, including Rock of Ages, frequented Bar Covell often when he and his wife lived in Los Feliz. But when they moved to Sherman Oaks, they couldn’t find a comparable place. “Where was the cool, quiet place to enjoy a glass of wine, a bit of food and be able to have a conversation without screaming across the table?” he questioned. Sure enough, after a year and a half of "prodding," he presented a plan and the deal was sealed. 

We asked what to expect.

What’s the concept?

Augustine is an upscale wine bar serving wine and beer only. Wine will likely represent anywhere from 15 to 25 different countries, offered by the glass and bottle, as well as rotating beers on tap and a complementary food menu.

What will the seating be like?

There will be proper bar seating at a marble-top bar, plus a few communal areas for groups of six to eight people, and custom-built, two-top, wood tables built for dates. 

How will it differ from Bar Covell?

The main difference is that Augustine will have a printed wine list, where Covell does not. Most unique: They will offer wines from a vintage collection gathered over the last decade from all over the world, with some wines dating back to the 19th century.

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