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A New Pour: Vroman’s Bookstore Opens 1894 Wine Bar

Literary wine stop enhances reading enjoyment by the glass

Published on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 | 6:09 am

Vroman’s Bookstore on Monday opened its new literary wine bar, the 1894, to a house full of appreciative and enthusiastic literary connoisseurs.

“Vroman’s has always been more than a bookstore,” said new bar manager Bentley Hale, ” so we’re really following that trend here in the wine bar. Since we’re in a bookstore, I’d love to keep other educational element alive, as well as keep the resource element alive.”

To that literary notion, the 1894 (named for the year the bookstore opened) features a menu full of literary-themed drinks, such as “The Jungle Book,” which was released the same year that Vroman’s doors first greeted Pasadenans.

Customer Vanessa Schulz waxed poetic over her “Treasure Island” cocktail made with coconut sake.

“There were these layers and these flowers, it was all just so pretty. This is going to be my new hang.”

1894 also features appetizers and starters, all perfectly presented, to go with the wide range of wines. The bar will also eventually hold wine events of its own, as it gears up.

Hale herself comes to the new bar from a substantial career in restaurants and hospitality. A long time wine lover, she started her own wine service called “Sip Happens,” which combined wine service with classes and meal pairings, to help customers understand the histories and significance of various wines. She has also worked in a number of restaurants over the years, in various positions.

For Bentley, 1894 is special.

“It’s not just a wine bar,” she said Monday. “We offer a lot more. We can be a date night, or you can come in by yourself, and our friendly staff will take care of you.”

A book and a glass of wine. Poorer nights have been made with a lot more than that.

The 1894 at Vroman’s is at 695 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA. (626) 449-5320.

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