Brix in Singapore? It could happen for a guy who dreams as big as Dan Matuszek. His “wine, spirits and more” retail experience certainly has taken hold here, so it's conceivable that Matuszek's “chain” of two Brix locations could become something much more.
You first heard of Brix three years ago, when Matuszek combined three complementary businesses (a retail shop, bistro and event center) together under one roof at Village Pointe Shopping Center. In January, the Wisconsin transplant brought a smaller but sexier Brix to Republic of Couture's former space at Midtown Crossing.
On opening night, the joint was jumpin' with a natty mixed-age crowd drinking mostly wine and scotch and noshing on appetizers.
Matuszek was beaming. “We want Brix to be about the experience. We want it to be fun,” he said as he showed me around. “This is cooler than I imagined.”
Matuszek admitted to being a little concerned about a 50 percent reduction in square footage compared to the Village Pointe location. “I was shocked when I looked at the architect's design proposal” and saw a brilliant merging of the bistro and retail models to complement a smaller urban footprint. “Everything was dialed down, yet nothing was lost.”
The midtown Brix experience centers on a sophisticated WineEmotion dispensing system that allows you to try 64 different wines by the ounce or the glass. Simply step up to one of the eight techno-cool stations, insert your prepaid Brix wine card from your server and select the pour.
The automated system, however, does more than deliver wine. It records your selections. This allows the Brix team to monitor consumption patterns in real time and adjust sales strategies accordingly. Want a summary of the wines you sampled? Simply inquire at the host's station before you leave.
If beer is more to your liking, Brix obliges with 27 handles of craft beer. There is even a handle of Sprecher root beer available from – where else? – Wisconsin. Coming in mid-April: Craft cocktails from a newly hired mixologist. And down the road: Craft scotch, bourbon and rum.
Watch for a new favorite way to take in this summer's Jazz on the Green. The patio wrapping around the Midtown Crossing location will afford lucky customers a stunning music and wine-and-dine experience. Matuszek is finalizing plans for "the best patio in town" with terraced seating for 160, an outdoor bar and two firepits. "We're going to create a lot of energy around the exterior to the north and the east," Matuszek says. Reservations required!
Brix definitely has the makings of a neighborhood bistro where everybody knows your name. What urban area wouldn't drink to that?
Editor in Chief
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