This week, over a delicious and refreshing Riesling (none of that crappy Blue Nun bullshazzy), we caught up with Bree at 13 Celsius. As other singles and groups trickled in to unwind with a post-work glass of wine in a decidedly low-key, non-Midtown-ish atmosphere, we got to know a little bit about the bar, Bree's affinity for bubbles and how she really wouldn't mind having a talented chef at her beck and call.
Where are you from? I'm from the Northeast side of Houston. Crosby.
How long have you been bartending at 13 Celsius? It'll be a year in June.
What are some other jobs you've held? I've waited tables, worked in retail...I'm actually also cleaning houses right now, which is a little different.
How would you describe the bar's aesthetic and the crowd? It's very relaxed. It's a great date spot, but we also get a lot of big groups, like for an engagement party, but since we don't sell liquor, it doesn't get crazy. Considering it's in Midtown, it's very laid-back. We have regulars, people that live in the neighborhood, service-industry people. Sure, we get random people that come in, curious to check us out, but then they become regulars. We've got such a great wine list, they keep coming back. As far as aesthetic, Mike studied in Italy and wanted to reflect that here. It's got an old-world, European vibe. People visiting from other countries will come in and say that it reminds them of some place back home.
Could you tell us a little about the building's history? It was originally a dry cleaners in the '20s...Jennings Cleaners. 13 Celsius doesn't have a sign out front, but the dry cleaners sign is still up. Actually, The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance gave us a Brick award in 2008 for preserving the structure of the building.
Fill in the blank: To work at 13 Celsius, you have to be able to ______. You have to be able to answer any question a customer might have. Our list is always changing and we have wine classes every week. You have to be able to keep up. We get a lot of people in here that know a lot about wine, so you have to stay on top of it.
At the end of my shift, I pour a ______. Any kind of delicious bubbly. My favorite right now is the Ca' Del Bosco. It's dry, creamy and really clean. It just always leaves you wanting more.
*Wildcard: What is the biggest advantage of being royalty? Well, it's not just royalty, but one advantage of being rich, I think, would be a personal...anything. Personal chef, personal trainer, personal driver. Those are the big three. If I had to choose just one, I'd pick the personal chef. I mean, I like to cook, I'm just not very good at it.
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13 Celsius, located at 3000 Caroline Street (at the corner of Caroline and Anita), is open nightly from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. If you're lookin' for a good deal, I recommend Sunday nights when all open bottles are half-off. Follow @13Celsius for more info on upcoming wine classes, tastings, specials and events.