New wine bar gives upscale inn a relaxed atmosphere

Relax and take in the atmosphere. Have a glass of wine and visit with old friends.

This is the kind of feeling you'll get when you walk into the new wine bar at Mirbeau Inn and Spa on West Genesee Street in Skaneateles.

The main entrance of Mirbeau went through a transformation in creating the wine bar -- and the new construction adds to the pastoral feeling of the grounds.

Mirbeau General Manager Chris Pulito said the idea behind the transformation was that whoever the architect was, they had to make the wine bar's location look like it belonged there.

"They had to make it look like it has been here forever," Pulito said.

Changes also came from an economic perspective. Mirbeau's reputation precedes itself in that the inn is synonymous with spending large amounts of money.

"We needed to change our reputation to gain new customers," Pulito said.

And changing their reputation is just what employees have been working hard to do. Now, Mirbeau not only offers the new wine bar, but also lunch and dinner menus with reasonably priced food choices.

Pulito said he gave Doug Hart, Mirbeau food and beverage manager, guidelines regarding the food in the bar area.

"Everything has to be between $5 and $15," Pulito said, recalling the conversation. "People can have a great night for $40."

A great night includes having somewhere to sit besides at the bar, though.

From the bartender's perspective, he or she can see into the library area, which includes a flat screen television -- a first for Mirbeau as the resort didn't have a TV prior to this -- and comfortable couches and sitting areas; they also can see directly into the bistro area, which overlooks the ponds and is reminiscent of the grounds at a French chateau.

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