First (Advance) Look: Vigne Wine Shop And Delicatessen, Denton

John and Carol Ryan have always wanted to open up their own wine place. Their dreams have come true in Denton.

Well, almost.

The place isn't quite open. And another possible setback comes to mind right away. Although its outward appearance is alluring (maybe Vigne should be called Little Italy with its old-fashioned lamp lighting, gateway entrance and tiny iron tables), the deli half isn't exactly out in the open. It actually sits back at the end of a long alley resting well off the street.

Sure, there's an elegant and romantic looking sign hung above the entrance, but is that going to be enough to attract speeding cars as they drive by? After all, most Americans have a five second attention span.

The Ryans seem to think so.

No strangers to running a business, the couple lease several apartments off of Oak St. near the University of North Texas. When they began searching for the perfect location for their wine shop, the couple said the building just felt like the right place for them to be.

"John and I had been looking for buildings to purchase or lease for a few months before we found our 222 W. Hickory building," Carol says. "When we entered the building and our lease space, we really felt it had the atmosphere we were looking for. We also felt like it was the building that we would have to do least to to get what we wanted."

John insists the position of the building won't affect their sales. Apparently marketing and networking is the key. Combining retail wine with deli-style dining, the place will include three large screen monitors that will display wine advertisements and dining specials. The restaurant is also offering the use of its "board room" to businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals looking for a place to gather.

The deli is named after Carol Ryan's ancestors, among them Jan Vigne, the first European male born in what is now New York, or so the story goes. The Vigne line also claim relations to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and yes, even Thomas Edison.

Has beens. Are they at all related to Oprah?

The restaurant hopes to open sometime during the week of October 5...assuming everything goes according to plan.


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