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Popular Hazel Park restaurant Mabel Gray has hired a new wine expert. 

Paulina Schemanski will join the team at the nationally recognized dining destination later this month. A level one sommelier, the Michigan native had previously worked at Tallulah Wine Bar in Birmingham under owner Mario Camaj. 

Rigato became familiar with her knowledge of beverages while she was working next door, setting up the programs at Joebar and Frame when they opened two years ago. She is also a regular at Mabel. 

"I've hosted her many times in the restaurant and always enjoy her company," said chef Rigato. "Paulina's poise and sophistication is a perfect fit for the dining room at Mabel Gray and I am excited about the balance between whimsy and classic that she brings to the wine list."

Rigato said Schemanski, 29, was the only candidate he considered to replace outgoing beverage manager Lindsay Martinik, who is leaving the industry to enjoy a more traditional day job at Strong Force Intellectual Capital. Schemanski will work alongside current bar manager Paul Fradeneck, who oversees the beer and cocktail programs. 

“There’s a tasting menu available at Mabel every day, so part of my job is creating beverage pairings for that tasting menu," said Schemanski, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison "As rapidly as the food changes, the beverages change as well, which is a huge challenge and also where all the fun is.”

Even before coming on board, Schemanski said she had a great personal relationship with Mabel Gray, the 40-something-seat restaurant that opened in 2015 at 23825 John R in Hazel Park. 

"I'm thrilled to contribute and be a part of one of my favorite places to eat."

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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