Client Business Spotlight: Jason Cooper, owner/founder of Velvet 48 wine bar in Burlingame
photo credit: http://www.natandcody.com/portraits.
In 2011, Joyce and Tatum sold Jason Cooper and his wife the house they live in today with their two children near Washington Park in Burlingame. They also sold the couple their first condominium in San Francisco when they relocated to California from the East Coast in 2007.
What is Velvet 48?
Located at 310 Lorton Ave. in Burlingame, Velvet 48 is the area’s newest, chicest spot on the Peninsula. Velvet 48 held it’s grand opening on May 3, celebrating the first wine-focused bar to open in the heart of downtown Burlingame. It boasts an extensive list of more than 400 selections -- 5,000+ bottles -- of wine from around the world. There will be more than 50 different wines by the glass including Dom Pérignon, Krug, benchmark Napa Valley producers like Stags Leap Wine Cellars, Shafer Vineyards, Cain Vineyard & Winery and international selections from Domaine Faiveley, Domaine de Vieux Telegraphe and Antinori Tignanello.
When you open the tiny storefront door into Velvet 48, you walk down a dark, 40-foot hallway before being transfixed into a very urban feel – the way you might feel at a posh wine spot in San Francisco. With a 17-foot tall wall holding 1,152 bottles of more than 50 Champagnes and sparkling wines, and a 12-foot tall temperature controlled wine room, Velvet 48 is quite impressive. “It’s not a huge space, it has a very city feel when you walk in but it’s very cozy once you’re inside – it has this intimacy about it,” Jason said. Many patrons are greeted with a complimentary sampling of Velvet 48 private label sparkling wine, which Jason worked closely with Sonoma’s Rack & Riddle to craft. (Velvet 48 Brut Rose)
“After a 20-year career in the wine industry, I’m creating the place I’ve always wanted to go and enjoy wine with friends,” Jason said. Burlingame simply needed a place like Velvet 48, he added. “I have 10 to 15 people a day come in and say, ‘Burlingame needed a place like this!’ And the reception has been really amazing. I am blown away by everybody’s support.”
Perks for Customers:
Jason said he wants people to enjoy their wines, which is why he is using an innovative approach by offering by-the-glass and bottle pricing lower than industry standard. He is also offering guests to purchase six or more bottles and receive a 25 percent discount, taking home any bottles that are not consumed on site. That means you could come in for a quick bite, and have a couple glasses of wine and cork up the rest to bring it home. As for pricing, Jason said, “We don’t mark up the way a restaurant does – we are in between a restaurant and retail pricing.”
He didn’t plan for a restaurant but Jason said he knew he needed to source from cool places to create an attractive ‘bites’ list. He offers the classic charcuterie plate, warm olives, cheese platters, but also gougères, a cream puff-like pastry made with Gruyere cheese, and kneaded bread with soft Vermont Creamery butter. To accompany a selection of dessert wines, sweets include local favorite, Guittard chocolate,assorted macaroons, crème brulee and more.
While Velvet 48 has only been open a few days, Jason has big plans for it. It’s hours are currently Tuesday – Thursday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Friday- Saturday noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m., and closed on Mondays. Jason hopes to soon be open seven days a week and also to host private parties. Jason’s master plan includes opening two to three more wine bars and instead of being a small operation, grow it into a larger company. Until then, Cheers to Jason for creating a space for us all to gather and enjoy a delicious glass of wine!