Shrouded in secrecy—appropriate for a speakeasy—The Vine Room had a soft opening Friday and fully reveals itself Tuesday, Nov. 23, at the new Shops at 5th and 5th in downtown Naples. A turn of a doorknob sticking out of vine leaves provides entrance to the exclusive lounge.
Inside, the McCabe family, who developed the entire upscale building and the Inn on Fifth properties, tapped Chicago designer Mark Knauer to create something dazzling, glamorous and memorable. Luxurious materials, artwork and lighting were used to create the intimate 70-seat venue.
“You will be transported to a 1920’s tropic with green velvet banquettes, dark woods, brass, back-lit onyx and deco/traveling artwork. This will match the theme of the traveling menu, which will be in chapter form,” said co-owner Philip McCabe, son of longtime Naples developer Phil McCabe, who redeveloped the building. “All follow the same architecture of my entrance, and the vine will be seen throughout.”
Accentuating the cool factor, expect small plates with the menu’s chapters taking guests on a tour around the world. Vintage cocktails complement chilled appetizers such as stone crab and shrimp cocktail with light bites such as ahi tuna tartare and charcuterie. The menu also offers lobster rolls, a lobster wedge salad, truffle fries, snacks, desserts and a cheese trolley.
“We’re going to have an extremely sophisticated cocktail program. It will probably be the most sophisticated cocktail program in Naples,” McCabe said. “The whole menu is themed off of traveling. You can come have a full meal, but the menu will be small plates, tapas.”
An amuse-bouche trio of cocktails—a mojito from Cuba, a Margarita from Mexico and an old fashioned from New York—gives guests a taste of what is to come. Separate chapters of the menu offer representative concoctions from North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
“The Vine Room has been a project dedicated to imagination, inventiveness and, of course, all the amazing places and cultures around the world,” the menu notes. “We have done our best to bring about flavors and experiences which transport you around the world, bringing back old memories while making new ones along the way.”
Knauer, the creative force behind the project, is the founder and principal of the Chicago-based Knauer architectural, interior design and engineering firm. He became acquainted with the McCabe family decades ago when he designed McCabe Brothers Steakhouse, where Truluck’s is today in Naples. Knauer since designed Ocean Prime, also in McCabe’s Inn on Fifth, and is working on Del Mar, another Cameron Mitchell restaurant set to open in early December directly across the street from The Vine Room.
“There’s going to be this synergy on that block between The Vine Room and Del Mar that’s really going to be awesome,” McCabe said. “We are going to feed off of each other in many ways.”
The Vine Room Naples, 465 Fifth Ave. S., is open 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Sunday. Dinner times may be reserved online now for booth and bar seating at resy.com.