On the first day of July, Mikey Lynch walked into every soon-to-be-restaurateur's worst nightmare.
At 6 a.m., on the day he was set to softly open Mars Wine Bar & Kitchen, he arrived to find that someone had broken through his new shop's front door, smashed several bottles of wine to the floor, scratched the hell out of that brand new floor, absconded with a small amount of cash, and broke their way out the back door. The break-in is still under investigation.
Yet despite all that, Lynch opened what was left of those doors, and turned a soft opening into a hard one, offering the Alameda neighbors who rallied behind him wines by the glass (Lynch specializes in pouring unique exotic blends, underrepresented wines, and stalwart old world varietals), and eats like piadine, panini, salads, heartier mains like prawn scampi and blackened pork tenderloin, and desserts courtesy of Beaverton's Gingerhead Cookies.
"There's been quite an outpouring of emotional support," Lynch says, and it's helped him soldier on. As he continues building his wine collection back up, Lynch and his crew got busy enough to launch lunch service at the beginning of last week, and ended the week by offering weekend brunch items, too, including strada, quiche, and lox.
The high-ceilinged space, decked out in old Welsh church pews—a gift from some friends living abroad—is open every day but Tuesday, from noon to about midnight. Mars also offers happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m., with weekend brunch hours lasting from noon to 3 p.m.
Mars Wine Bar & Kitchen: 2393 NE Fremont St., 503-550-2777