Beacon has its fair share of watering holes (think Wonderbar, Melzingah Tap House, The Vinyl Room) but has been lacking a wine-focused spot for nearly a year—until now. Opened last December by chef Pedro Sousa and Tanner Townsend, the uber-cool Reserva Wine Bar (in the former Chill Wine space) offers up unique wines, Brazilian-American fusion small plates, and live entertainment.
This isn’t Sousa and Townsend’s first rodeo—but it is their first co-owned restaurant. Graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, the pair have been working as a food stylist and photographer, respectively, for their company Hudson Valley Food Photography. If you’re familiar with Newburgh’s Hudson Taco and Billy Joe’s Ribworks, or The Crafted Kup in Poughkeepsie (which Townsend also owns), you may have seen their fantastic images on social media or menus.
When Chill Wine Bar owners Jim Svetz and Patrick McKenna made plans to move out of state, they approached Sousa and Townsend about taking it over, and the answer was a resounding yes. After purchasing the bar in February 2021, the duo spent the better part of the year overhauling the interior to create a vibe that was simultaneously classy and comfortable. Exposed brick walls, navy wood paneling, industrial lighting, and mirrors with ornate gold frames are just some of the upgrades. The goal was to incorporate design elements from Victorian, midcentury, and Prohibition eras to create a unique look with Valley roots, Townsend says.
Grab a seat at the white marble bar or settle into a leather lounge chair in the back. Prices start at $11–16 per glass; you can purchase your faves by the bottle, too. The varied wine list includes options that are organic, sustainable, natural, and vegan. “The idea and inspiration behind the wine bar is to bring under-represented and lesser-known varietals and winemakers to the Hudson Valley,” says Townsend. He cites the Cave Amadeu Brut from Brazilian Familia Geisse as a top pick for its silky bubbles, brioche nose, and notes of dried apricots.
Their food menu features classic charcuterie bites like marinated olives and herbed nuts, but the Brazilian flavors Sousa incorporates into the items are what make them really special. Order the pão de queijo sliders—three gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread buns with a selection of fillings such as smoked salmon, chive ricotta, and dill—or prosciutto, burrata, and mosto cotto. Also worth trying: the pressed queijo coalho (a Brazilian grilling cheese) with spicy guava confit, and the house-pickled vegetables with a red pepper-brazil nut dip. If you visit Reserva on a Friday or Saturday night, stay for a live concert (8pm-11pm).
At press time, the Joe North Quartet (comprised of musicians from around the Hudson Valley) was booked for April 9. For more information on the bar and performances visit: reservabeacon.com.
Reserva Wine Bar
173 Main Street, Beacon