It seems Julie Stevens and Clancy Martin (the latter of whom is part owner of Martin's Custom Jewelers in Arlington) have pulled out of Cork, the wine and cheese bar they opened on McKinney Avenue in the spring of last year. Only they did more than that: They skipped town. At least that's what their former Cork partner Terence Ballou says. "They moved out of town, and I was the original partner from the beginning. So I just took over everything," he says. Ballou stresses there isn't much he cares to discuss about the Stevens-Martin exit--except it's all been for the good. Among the changes he has implemented include live music (jazz trios) and wine classes every other Tuesday night. Plus, Ballou has pumped up the calories in his wine and fruit menu with a few desserts. Yet what would really help this wine watering hole is a logically organized wine list that can be deciphered without bifocals or mind-altering drugs. Especially since Ballou has bold plans to pop more Corks in Austin, Houston, and Addison.
Playboy magazine named Samba Room one of the best bars in America in its May issue, the only Dallas bar to make the cut in this monthly collection of insightful articles. Without even mentioning apparel, Playboy's blue-ribbon panel of publishers, authors, critics, and restaurateurs chose "the right places to hang out" from coast to coast. The home of creased and folded Playmates also suggested that, after a fine evening of dining and dancing, Samba patrons might want to sink into the leather sofas in the lounge and fire up a stogie--though maybe not if you're a certain White House lame duck, in which case lighting up after you unwrap might result in very personal injury.
High-tech coin helped double the take of the Napa Valley Wine Auction in early June, boosting the proceeds to $9.5 million--a trouncing of last year's $5.5 million rake. Retired Cisco Systems executive Chase Bailey alone pumped $1.7 million into the receipts, funneled to Napa County charities, capturing a single 6-liter bottle of 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet for $500,000. Louisiana oil and gas multimillionaire B.A. "Red" Adams grabbed the top bid by pledging $700,000 for a 10-bottle vertical collection (1987-1996) of a Harlan Estate Cabernet blend wines. Former top bidder Dee Lincoln of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak Houses paid $270,000 for eight bottles (1990-1997) of Dalla Valle Maya.
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