Go Low

Article Published: Mar. 8, 2012 | Modified: Mar. 8, 2012
Go Low

Uijin Park and Lauren Gioscio recently opened Low, a craft beer and wine bar, above Espresso News in downtown Boone.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

Uijin Park and Lauren Gioscio are aiming low.

“The idea behind it is low-key,” Park said, describing Low, a new craft beer and wine bar in downtown Boone.

Ironically, Low is located above Park’s popular downtown coffeehouse, Espresso News, and, despite the bar’s name, he and wife Lauren Gioscio are setting high standards.

“Low-key, low lighting, low, comfortable seating – it’s a place you can go to have a dialogue with a friend,” Park said, “a bar alternative, basically.”

That alternative includes homemade sweets – pastries, cake, tarts and more – from Espresso’s baking gurus, Emily Hutelmyer and Lindsey Cero.

“Everything’s handmade, more decadent, indulgent,” Park said. “If it’s not your birthday, you’ll feel like it is.”

And that applies to Low’s libations. The bar currently stocks 18 craft beers and a variety of wines.
“It’s all American craft beer, because it means something,” Park said. “Craft beer is very important to us. We try to keep something from different genres of beers – pilsners, stouts, porters, beers that are well done.”

The same can be said for Low’s wine, which straddles the upper and lower ends and everything in between for a tasty, yet affordable, selection.

“And we go through the arduous process of tasting them all again and again,” Park said.

It’s a process he and Gioscio will share with their clientele through regular beer and wine tastings. The dates are yet to be determined, but the duo promises at least one or two tastings per month, eventually moving to once a week.

“One of the consistent themes we wanted was for it to be small and quiet, where we can educate people about wine and beer,” Gioscio said, “somewhere you can sit down and not have to yell across the room to talk.”

The idea came to them while visiting a downtown bar and attempting conversation.

“It was just too loud,” Park said. “I could not hear what was going on. I love live music, but once that starts, it ends any conversation. We wanted a place that’s like going to your friend’s house – that’s what it’s like. And at the end, someone cleans up after you, so there’s a benefit.”

But that doesn’t mean Park and Gioscio are opposed to live tunes in Low.

“We definitely want to have smaller shows,” Gioscio said, “something that’s befitting of the atmosphere.”

Park and Gioscio are working with Travis Reyes of 641rpm Records in formulating a “Mod Music Sunday,” where bar-goers can get gussied up for a retro night of music, fine drink and fellowship.

It’s all part of Low’s natural evolution, something Park and Gioscio enjoy seeing in motion – as do the customers, ever since its Feb. 1 opening date.

“Everyone has been very positive, and they’re very open to it,” Park said.

“We’ve seen everyone from across the board – Espresso regulars, professors from ASU, students, newcomers,” Gioscio said. “It’s just a quiet place where you can get drinks and food. It’s something Boone needed, and people are excited.”

To share in the excitement, visit Low, located at 267 Howard St., upstairs from Espresso News in downtown Boone. Hours are Monday through Saturday, from 5 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday, from 7 p.m. till question mark.

For more information, call (828) 264-8821.

Beat It

Got restaurant news? Email editor Frank Ruggiero at (frank@mountaintimes.com) or call (828) 264-6397.

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