Recognize Jason Crume? For years, he was the Beverage Director at Toulouse Petit. Before that, he co-owned Bricco (now LloydMartin). Crume joined Fonté Café & Wine Bar just three weeks ago. He and his former co-worker, Levi Colinas, who was Toulouse's day manager, have been tasked to create a successful blueprint that the company can take to Manhattan. That entails changing the name to Café Fonté, improving the general flow of the place, and getting people inside: "We're in a funky spot in the city. You've got places like Kell's, Post, Il Bistro and Alibi Room where people are being festive until 2 a.m. every day of the year, but it's almost like nobody comes one block south past the Showbox. We're hoping that Von's—they're going in down the street—helps bring in more people. Right now we kill it during the day. Getting people in here past 4-5 p.m. is not easy."
Once again, Crume finds himself in a familiar spot, having the honor of managing the entire beverage program at Fonté, minus the coffee. "My job is to take a wine program that's fairly non-existant and create a new one. [Fonté] has a spirits license, so if we can get that going and ad on to what we're already doing, than Levi and I have done our job of creating a successful space."
Crume does want to introduce tap cocktails at some point, as well as a small selection of wines by the bottle for retail prices.
The wine list will be heavy on local producers.
"I want to sell about five whites by the glass and maybe about five reds, always a few good sparklers and always some good rosés. Less options, but really good options."
As for Colinas, who left Toulouse in February and joined Fonté in October, he's been overseeing the menu since chef Garrett Brown's departure about a month ago. Crume says they have no immediate plans to replace Brown.
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