Society / Profiles

Houston’s Secret Cellar of Joy

Tucked Away Spot is a Chic Party and Wine Haven for the River Oaks Crowd

BY // 06.05.18

The buzz is on about the newest contender in luxe wine storage facilities, this one tucked away on a quiet street in near River Oaks. Since its soft opening earlier this year, Balthazar Cellars has been winning applause from both those storing their Petrus and Penfolds in the ultra chic space and those who’ve been lucky enough to be invited to party there.

The smashing 16,700 square foot stone-clad facility was designed by classical architect Bill Curtis of Curtis & Windham Architects with interiors by entrepreneur Windi Grimes, who also happens to own Balthazar, a concept that she divined.

When Grimes and her husband, David Grimes, added an entertaining room (something of a ballroom) to their River Oaks home, they quickly learned there was a need for a mid-sized party space. Friends and mere acquaintances clamored to use the room for a variety of activities.

“We already knew there was a need for wine storage, so it made sense to put the two together,” she says.

The result is a smashing two-story wine-storage facility with several second-floor entertaining venues and a state-of-the-art catering kitchen. Beyond the 50-degree temperature- and humidity-controlled wine lockers, 80 in all, each with a 1,500-bottle capacity, we are swooning over the entertainment spaces.

Love the intimate glass-enclosed Bubbles dining salon, so named for the hand-blown glass bubbles chandelier, designed by Studio Bel Vetro. This jewel box can accommodate up to 12. For larger gatherings, the OWC space with its broad terrace and 35-foot-long indoor fireplace is attracting its share of attention. And the sleek catering kitchen was designed not only to satisfy approved caterers but also to host cooking demonstrations and classes. The party spaces are reserved for Balthazar members.

Overseeing it all is Balthazar Cellars president Teague Burrell, formerly senior event manager at City Kitchen Catering. Who better to run this elegant ship than this French wine scholar, chef, and three-level sommelier certified through the International Sommelier Guild?

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