Finding your own unique niche in the ever dynamic Kingston nightlife scene certainly seems to be the formula that works these days and we’re fortunate to have another option to exercise in our community. This week’s Doers and Dreamers have created a quiet, little oasis down on the Rondout that will be a great neighborhood hang and charm the many visitors that walk by in to visiting their stylish new nightspot. Say ‘hello’ to Tracy and Jamie Kennard, who can be your host some evening when you want to step off the treadmill of the daily grind and enjoy a nice glass of wine.
Your names: Tracy and Jamie Kennard
Business: Brunette Wine Bar
Occupation: Jamie is a web / print graphic designer and I’m a business / strategy consultant in the fashion industry. And now we’re both moonlighting as bar owners and bartenders.
What is your approach to your business that makes you unique?
Sweat the details! We think of the bar as an extension of our home and try to afford the same luxuries for our customers as we do when we host friends at our house. We’ll pick up a pint of plums on our way to the bar to share with customers. We’ve been serving a tiny amuse of aged Gouda, just because it tastes really delicious with wine. Each lamp shade at the bar was found separately and varies subtly from each other. Our water glasses and crystal coupes were foraged for at tag sales, flea markets and eBay. It might take longer, but we appreciate that each element at the bar has its own little story.
All these little details add to the overall feel of the kind of place we want to hang out in – a place that’s personal and welcoming, yet clean and minimal, with unexpected special details.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from the Jersey shore and Jamie is from Rochester.
What brought you to the Kingston area and keeps you in this area?
Ten years ago, when it seemed like everyone we knew was spending their weekends in the Hamptons, we rented a house in West Hurley with some friends. Smitten with the area, we came back the next week to look for a weekend place of our own.
What is your favorite hangout in this area and why?
Thorn Preserve with curry night take out, a picnic blanket, a magnum of rosé and some friends is pretty magical.
When you’re not in Kingston, what’s your idea of a wonderful city to visit, and why?
It may be cliché, but nothing beats late afternoon in Paris, sitting at Café Charlot with a carafe of wine and a book. Everything in Paris is classically devoid of trend, yet still so stylish. It’s that tasteful mix that we keep coming back to – in our personal lives, as well as at the bar.
Tell us something that we never would have guessed about you.
Both Jamie and I used to be Blondes.