Bird & the Bread in Birmingham will become Vinotecca

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Royal Oak wine bar Vinotecca – which closed after Jolly Pumpkin moved into the corner of Fifth and Main – is getting a second chance in Birmingham.

Unfortunately this means it’s curtains for Bird and the Bread, known for its European-influenced menu, vast wine selection and craft beer and cocktails.

The Jonna family announced Friday it would turn Bird and the Bread into Vinotecca, which opened in Royal Oak in 2005 and served wine-friendly small pates until this year when the space was transformed into a Jolly Pumpkin restaurant.

“We went kind of beer-centric in Birmingham, and it’s not really a beer town and I think that was a bit of a miss,” said owner Kristin Jonna, adding that Bird and the Bread, which opened in 2014, was also a bit more casual and family-driven than other spots in town.

“Even those we have great wine, we had awesome craft beer, awesome craft cocktails, the food menu has some expensive things on it ... I think the perception became that it wasn’t the flashy place to go in town,” she said.

She also points to their special event space the ELM room, which is used for weddings and other high-end events occasions. A wine bar makes more sense to to pair with a special occasion space.

“It gave us a bit of a identity crisis,” she said.

The changeover will happen early next year. The new Vinotecca will have a “wine bar, a small plates menu and global cuisine,” according to the release. There are also plans for live blues and jazz music.

Jonna said she’s very passionate about having live music when Vinotecca returns.

“It’s so necessary in our world that art permeates people’s lives and we recognize how important that is for our children and our own emotional well-being,” she said. “It’s a beautiful addition to Vinotecca and Vineology which have always been a celebration of the art of wine and the art of food, to add now, the art of music.”

The Jonna family knows their wine, too. Besides running Vinotecca for 12 years in Royal Oak, they also own and operate Vineology Wine Bar and Restaurant in Ann Arbor. John Jonna started his restaurant empire in the 1970s with local gourmet food and wine chain Merchant of Vino.

Like Vineology, the rebooted Vinotecca will have “aggressive happy hours” which Jonna says she hopes gives customers a chance to try expensive wines at a lesser price.

“If you don’t ever drink really well-made, expensive wine, then you never strive for it, “ she said. “Helping people grow a discerning palate is how we grow oenophiles.”

While the transition takes place, the Bird and the Bread will remain open for dinner 5-10 p.m. Tues.-Sat. and 5-9 p.m. Sun. with weekend brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Weekday lunch service has ended.

Bird and the Bread and the forthcoming Vinotecca is at 210 S. Old Woodward in Birmingham. Call (248) 203-6600.

Twitter: @melodybaetens