Restaurant Preview: Bedford Hills Wine & Beer Bar
The owner of Custom Candle Co. is expanding into the wine & beer market.
photo by john bruno turiano
Custom Candle Co. store owner Marcie Manfredonia Siciliano wanted more engagement for her customers while they waited for their personalized candle gifts to be wrapped and baskets of essential oils and tumblers to be assembled. “I also was holding gatherings, such as candle parties, makeup parties, and CBD-info workshops,” she explains, “and wanted a space more conducive to socializing than a retail store.”
When an adjacent carpet store shuttered in the summer of 2018, Manfredonia Siciliano seized the opportunity, and approximately a year later, Bedford Hills Wine & Beer Bar debuted.
The concept is a community-gathering nightspot with a menu of predominately finger foods ($9 to $20) paired with beers and wines, some of which are local (e.g., Captain Lawrence, Brooklyn Brewery, Finger Lakes wineries), plus special-event evenings: CBD talks, meditation and tarot card readings, game nights, karaoke, and live music.
“I’m a social person, and I love to have my customers engaged as much as possible,” explains Manfredonia Siciliano.
Popular orders include spinach-and-artichoke dip, house-made hummus and pita chips, flatbread pizzas, and panini; the signature wine slushies (made of crushed ice, juices, and either Zinfandel or white wine) are the favored drink order for many patrons.
Manfredonia Siciliano asked her husband, Nick Siciliano, a contractor and hobbyist woodworker/furniture maker, to design the space. “I repurposed a lot of local raw materials,” he says of the 28-seat interior (there are an additional 10 seats on the front sidewalk). The wine rack at the entrance was constructed from a nearby maple tree downed during Hurricane Sandy; the tables are cherry wood, via a felled tree along Route 117 in Bedford Hills; the beams above hail from an 1846 home in Wurtsboro, NY; a sliding pine barn door made with wood from Pound Ridge connects the bar to the candle store.
According to Manfredonia Siciliano, the food-and-beverage industry is more difficult than retail. “There are so many factors to make it what you want it to be, but this was needed in town,” she says. “There’s nothing else like it here, and the community appreciates it.”
27 Depot Plz, Bedford Hills 914.864.1320