Wednesday, June 30, 2010

El Gaucho Portland Renovates Cigar Lounge with New Humidor Lockers and Updated Décor

El Gaucho Portland Renovates Cigar Lounge with New Humidor Lockers and Updated Decor

Celebrating 10 Year Anniversary with Cigar Locker Club and Locker Giveaway

PORTLAND, Ore.—(June 30, 2010)— When the swanky Portland steakhouse El Gaucho re-opens after a five-day closure this July, fans will have something new to buzz about: an upgraded cigar lounge, and a chance to win a free cigar locker for a year.

Beginning July 2, El Gaucho Portland will temporarily close for a facelift of the cigar lounge. The steakhouse will reopen July 7 with an upgraded lounge interior that will include new furniture, additional seating, and a fresh coat of paint. The new, polished décor will extend the restaurant’s comfortable, yet refined atmosphere into the cigar lounge and provide additional seating for the nostalgic, cigar-loving clientele.

In addition to the cosmetic changes, the restaurant is adding 30 new temperature-controlled cigar humidor lockers for guests to lease for personal use. A year-long Cigar Locker Club membership comes with a host of perks, including:

  • Complimentary name plaque
  • Early access to the cigar lounge (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) with 24-hour notice
  • Free valet parking for duration of membership
  • 20 percent off bottles of wine purchased and consumed in the cigar lounge
  • A $100 El Gaucho Portland gift card
  • First opportunity to place reservations for special events

For more information on purchasing a cigar locker and pricing, call (503)-227-8794.

In honor of the newly-updated cigar room, El Gaucho is offering locals a chance to win a free cigar locker and Cigar Locker Club membership for one year. A drawing for the giveaway will occur on September 1, 2010. To enter the giveaway for the cigar locker and one year membership, contact the restaurant.

“El Gaucho Portland has long been known for our fine cigar program,” says General Manager Greg Gonzales. “We’re excited to unveil the updated lounge in our 10th year and we look forward to continuing to serve the city as Portland’s finest cigar room.”

El Gaucho is one of the few remaining restaurants in Portland where cigar aficionados can still enjoy fine cigars. The old-school hotspot is one of a mere handful of local cigar lounges that have been grandfathered in to allow cigar smoking after the 2009 smoking ban.

Open since 2000, El Gaucho® is the Northwest's steakhouse legacy focused on elegant, old-school, tableside service for people celebrating their lives. The menu highlights 28-Day Dry-Aged Certified Angus Beef® Prime steaks, cutting edge fresh seafood selections from sustainable sources, and extensive wine and malt scotch lists. El Gaucho’s swanky bar was recently featured in Continental Airlines magazine and given the “Gold Standard” by Portland Monthly magazine. Located at 319 S.W. Broadway, El Gaucho is open Monday through Thursday 5 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. Happy hour is available 5 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close Monday through Friday and all day Sunday. For more information, visit or call (503) 227-8794.

Follow El Gaucho Online


Twitter: @ElGauchoPDX

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Media Contact: Andrea Courtney

Randall PR / (206) 624-5757

Cafe Flora Adds Patio Seating in Herb Garden

Cafe Flora Adds Patio Seating in Herb Garden

Happy Hour and Cocktail Menu Served in the Garden

SEATTLE, Wash.—(June 28, 2010)— Cafe Flora is heralding the arrival of warm weather by offering a new destination: Beginning in early June, the Herb Garden Patio will be open when the happy hour menu is available. Hours are Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.

“There’s really no better way to enjoy a beautiful, fragrant garden than to sit and bask in the midst of it. Guests have always admired our herb garden, so we thought it was time to invite them out to relax, enjoy a snack and sip a cocktail or two in the sunshine,” says owner Nat Stratton-Clarke.

Cafe Flora’s enclosed west-facing herb and vegetable garden has added a bubbling fountain, metal art sculptures and four tables. Café Floras’ popular happy hour and cocktail menus will be available on the patio, which may also be reserved for private functions with a food and beverage minimum.

Refreshing, vibrant cocktails from ‘Bar Flora’ blend innovative and classic elements, such as prickly pear- and fennel-infused liquors and housemade ginger beer. Signature libations include:

Red Sky at Night—Prickly-pear-and-fennel-infused light rum with housemade ginger beer ($10)

Lady Flora—Gluten-free Monopolowa potato vodka, fresh-squeezed lime juice

and orange liqueur, topped with a splash of housemade cranberry ginger cider ($8)

Southern Sweetart—Earl Grey gin, rosemary lemonade, lemon juice, and orange liqueur ($10)

Fancy Free 9—Bulleit Bourbon, Maraschino liquor, Angustura and Regan’s Orange Bitters ($9)

Parasol 9—Gin, Crème de Cassis, French elderflower liqueur, mint and lemon juice ($9)

Cafe Flora’s new happy hour menu, offered Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., features boards, bar snacks and beverages that range from $3 to $6, as well as draft beers from the newly-installed beer taps.

Edamame Bowl – Garlic-tamari edamame (vegan & gluten free) ($3)

Paté Board – Pecan lentil paté served with croccantini, onion confit and cornichons (vegan & available gluten-free) ($6)

White Bean Hummus – Roasted garlic white bean puree served with olive caviar-grilled

foccacia. (vegan & available gluten free) ($6)

Draft Beer: Full Sail Pale Ale or Mac & Jack’s ($2.5)

Wine: Rainier Ridge Merlot or O’Reilly’s Pinot Gris ($5)

Bartender’s Special Happy Hour Cocktail ($5)

Well drinks ($1 off)

Cafe Flora’s award-winning menu features modern and sophisticated vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cuisine inspired by international culinary traditions and created with local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Voted one of Seattle Weekly’s “Favorite Restaurants 2006,” Cafe Flora was also awarded “Best Vegetarian Restaurant” by Seattle Magazine eight years running. In 2005, The Cafe Flora Cookbook was published containing more than 250 house recipes. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday 5 to 9 p.m. Lunch and afternoon menus are served weekdays 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 5 p.m. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Happy hour is offered Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. Cafe Flora is located at 2901 East Madison St. (206) 325-9100.

Follow Cafe Flora Online


Twitter: @CafeFloraVeg

Facebook: Cafe Flora

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Media Contact: Andrea Courtney

Randall PR / (206) 624-5757

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wine Storage Bellevue Offers Pre-Sale Exclusive for Wine Storage Lockers

Wine Storage Bellevue Offers Pre-Sale Exclusive for Wine Storage Lockers

Family Opens Unique, World-Class Wine Storage on the Eastside

BELLEVUE, Wash.—(June 23, 2010) —Maximum security, increased accessibility and old-world Italian ambiance set Wine Storage Bellevue apart from the competition.

The Gilroys the husband, wife and son trio behind Stor-House Self Storage have combined their 80-plus years of design and construction expertise with their love for Italy to launch Wine Storage Bellevue ( in early July. Located just off I-405, this unique wine storage operation combines the sophistication of wine culture with the security and convenience of self storage.

A hand-carved door of deep mahogany marks the exclusive entrance where wine enthusiasts will be able to access their collections any time between 5 a.m. and 10p.m., seven days a week. From there they will utilize individual key cards to summon the elevator to the temperature- and humidity-controlled room. Each all-steel wine locker is equipped with a steel latch and bezel, and is fastened with a cylinder lock, thereby ensuring a level of security for a first-vintage 1978 Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon that under other circumstances would be reserved for great-grandmother’s priceless diamonds and pearls.

Waiting beyond the secure wine locker room is an amenity unlike any other in the Pacific Northwest: a generously appointed, 1,000-square-foot Wine Resource Center characterized by ornate stonework, handsome leather furnishings, cabinets of knotty alder and 12-foot ceilings. Decorated in shades of rich brown and burgundy, the space consists of two rooms separated by a custom sliding door. A dual-sided fireplace, framed in stone and capped with an alder mantle, is surrounded by four plush leather chairs, lending a cozy, home-like feel.

The center is also equipped with a computer for access to cellar-tracking software or other internet databases designed to record wine inventory changes. Ideal for hosting wine club meetings or small, private tastings, the space includes all the necessary accoutrements for a wine club event. The Wine Resource Center will be open daily to members from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or later by appointment.

To entice wine collectors to entrust their collections to Wine Storage Bellevue, the Gilroys are offering a pre-sale program for a limited time only: Those who sign a lease contract and prepay a storage locker for one year could realize a potential savings of hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. The program includes:

  • Free use of the Wine Storage Bellevue 10-foot Move-In Truck.
  • 25-percent discount off wine racks from a preferred Wine Storage Bellevue partner, installed in the locker.

Locker pricing is competitive, starting at $24 per month and concluding at $395 per month for the largest size. Full locker sizes range from 23” x 16” (14-case capacity) to 48” x 148” (200-case capacity). Split locker sizes range from 33” x 30” x 33” (12-case capacity) to 44” x 30” x 64” (40-case capacity).

To take advantage of the pre-sale offer, please call (425) 453-2242. This limited-time offer will expire on July 15th.

Wine Storage Bellevue offers secure climate-controlled, state-of-the-art all-steel storage lockers for valued wine collections of all sizes. Prices begin at $24 per month. Rental includes use of the generously appointed 1,000-square-foot Wine Resource Center and Tasting Room, equipped with a computer and internet access. Wine Storage Bellevue is situated inside Stor-House Self Storage, located at 1614 118th Avenue SE, Bellevue, Washington. Locker Room open daily from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.; Wine Resource Center open 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., or by special appointment. For more information call (425) 453-2242 visit

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Media Contact: Andrea Courtney

Randall PR / (206) 624-5757

Friday, June 18, 2010

Down Under Answers Branches Into South Africa Market with “Africa Answers” Division

South Africa Takes the World Stage Hosting Soccer’s World Cup as Travel Specialist Expands to Include African Vacations

BELLEVUE, Wash.—(June 18, 2010)— Acknowledged as one of the most respected and awarded specialists in wholesale travel to Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific, Down Under Answers has extended its scope to include Southern Africa and the nations of Eastern Africa.

New affiliate Africa Answers will specialize in travel packages to the nations of South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and the Indian Ocean, including the island nation of Seychelles.

Thanks to the easing up of the recession and subsequent company growth, Africa Answers is hoping to take advantage of the expected $2 billion in revenue generated by the nearly 460,000 international visitors for the 2010 FIFA World Cup running June 11 through June 24 in South Africa.

“DUA has experienced fantastic growth over the last 6 months. In the upcoming summer months our revenue is already expected to surpass any month in the history of the company. Africa is a vast, vibrant and under tapped travel destination and with the World Cup coming up, now is the time to expand in into this new market,” says company president and founder Kirk Demeter from Johannesburg, where he is currently enjoying the World Cup atmosphere.

Currently staffed with 24 seasoned employees, parent company Down Under Answers is zooming back to record-year status after a tough 2009. Already the company has seen a 95% increase in passengers and a 50% growth in revenue over last year for the first six months, and project overall business for the year to be an all time high.

DUA was awarded by both Tourism New Zealand and Australia as Best Travel Wholesaler six and five years running respectively. Similarly, Africa Answers will rely heavily on relationships built with South African Tourism and travel boards.

“South African tourism welcomed our expansion into South Africa with open arms, helping to build crucial relationships and forge ahead with our program. Kerryn Cook, our VP of Product and Marketing traveled to Durban, South Africa for Indaba, the trade show that unites travel professionals and suppliers, and was able to find the right hotels, safari lodges and tours to best suit our clients,” says Demeter.

Since its inception in 1992, the Seattle based company has grown steadily from a boutique adventure operator to one of the leading travel wholesalers in North America. Down Under Answers enjoyed a record year in 2008 in sales to the South Pacific (including Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and more); with Australia vacation destinations representing 65% of total sales. Projected sales for 2010 are expected to reach their all-time peak year. Pre-designed package or customized getaway, more travelers than ever before are placing their vacation dreams in the experienced hands of Down Under Answers/Africa Answers travel experts.

“It’s a natural progression for our company to include an African vacation focus, because so many people want to experience its scenic beauty, wildlife and cultural offerings firsthand. We’ve fallen in love with it,” adds Demeter.

Founded in 1992, Seattle-based Down Under Answers is the industry leader in travel to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Dubai. Repeatedly voted Best Travel Wholesaler by Tourism New Zealand and Tourism Australia specialists, the company employs seasoned staff members to customize tours—ranging from unique, hands-on holidays to more traditional itineraries—for groups of virtually any size. For further information email, or call (800) 889-1464.

Follow Down Under Answers Online:


Twitter: @DownUnderAnswer

Facebook: Down Under Answers

Flickr: Flick

YouTube: YouTube

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Media Contact: Andrea Courtney
Randall PR / (206) 624-5757

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

KIRO's Chris Sullivan Tours Wine Storage Bellevue

KIRO Radio's Chris Sullivan toured the new Wine Storage Bellevue facility on Monday, June 14. Check out his podcast below and the pictures posted on

More audio at

LOT No. 3 Opens in Bellevue

Photo Credit: Denise Sakaki

LOT No. 3 Opens in Bellevue

Comfort Food Compliments Whiskey and Beer Focused Beverage Menu

BELLEVUE, Wash.—(June 15, 2010)— Heavy Restaurant Group, the creative force behind restaurants Barrio and Purple Café and Wine Bar, has introduced a new concept to the Eastside in the form of LOT No. 3. Located in the Bellevue Towers, LOT No. 3 is a casual eatery and bar that pairs clever, sophisticated food and drink menus with the cozy ambiance of a favorite ‘locale.’

The round, convivial bar at the entrance welcomes guests while a bluesy, eclectic soundtrack plays in the background. Inside, exposed brick and metal accentuate the masculine space. Tables, booths, communal seating, and leather sofas and chairs offer a range of options for a solo meal, a date or an after-work gathering of friends. For a lofty view of the entire room, take a seat on the second story or when the weather is warm, grab a table on the patio planned for later this summer.

Executive Chef Mike Davis has devised an approachable menu of seasonally inspired, simple-yet-sophisticated gastro-fare such as:

Select cheeses and cured meats from Salumi ($3.25-$5)

Duck confit, short-rib or BLT sliders ($3.50-$3.75)

Seafood Gumbo ($14.50)

Plate O’ Bacon ($6)

Peanut Butter, Bacon & Jelly sandwich ($6.75)

Pretzel ($3.25)

Spiced Jar Cake ($5.75)

When it comes to beverages, LOT No. 3 focuses on beer and brown liquor. The arguable king of brown cocktails, the Manhattan, is featured on the menu with a choice of six whiskies (three ryes, three bourbons), four types of bitters, and three different sweet vermouths. In addition to six rotating brews on draught, available by the pint or growler, there are 50-plus bottled-beer varieties and a dozen specialty cocktails of around 100 spirits. Rounding out the liquid program is the by-the-glass wine list, hand-selected by wine director Dawn Smith. Purple Café’s extensive bottle list will also be offered to LOT No. 3 guests.

Happy hour is offered from 4 to 6 p.m., and features discounted snacks and select beer and cocktails. View the happy hour menu here.

“Where Purple is wine-centric and Barrio gives tequila a starring role, LOT No. 3 puts the spotlight on beer and brown spirits. What I love most about the restaurant is that there’s a comfortable, relaxed vibe that makes it equally great for a casual date or hanging out with friends. It’s the kind of place where I want to spend time,” says owner Larry Kurofsky.

LOT No. 3 Information and Hours

Location: Bellevue Towers, 460 106th Ave. NE, Bellevue

Phone: 425.440.0025

Online: | @heavyrestaurant

Hours: Tue - Sun 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.; Closed Monday/available for private parties;

Food served until 1 a.m. Tue – Sun; Happy hour, 4 to 6 p.m.

Capacity: 100; minors are permitted in dining areas.

Reservations: Accepted for groups of 6 or more. Private parties of all sizes welcome.

Parking: Available in Bellevue Towers Parking garage with free 4-hour validation.

Key Bank surface lot on NE 4th Street available after 5 p.m.

Heavy Restaurant Group is the management team supporting Barrio, Purple Café and Wine Bar and LOT No. 3. Heavy’s management office is located at 1218 Third Ave., Ste. 900, Seattle, 98101 (206-838-3852). For information, please see Heavy Restaurant Group online at

LOT No. 3 is a casual eatery offering an eclectic, seasonally inspired menu and an extensive, global selection of beers and brown spirits, including 6 draughts, more than 50 bottled beers, 100 top-shelf spirits, signature cocktails and wines by the glass and bottle. LOT No. 3 is located next to Barrio and Purple Cafe and Wine Bar at 460 106th Ave. NE, Bellevue, Wash., (425-440-0025). Open Tuesday through Sunday, 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.; closed Monday. For further information, please see LOT No. 3 online at

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Media Contact: Andrea Courtney
Randall PR / (206) 624-5757

Contact: David Yusen

Director of Marketing & Public Relations

Heavy Restaurant Group/ (206) 452-0515

Friday, June 11, 2010

Otis Kenyon Wine Now Offers Full Varietal Lineup at Woodinville Tasting Room

Today, June 11


WOODINVILLE, Wash.—(June 11, 2010)— Starting today, Otis Kenyon Wine will ignite oenophiles’ palates by offering tastes of seven award-winning wines at the newly-opened Woodinville Tasting Room:

WHO: Otis Kenyon Wine

WHAT: Otis Kenyon Now Offers Full Varietal Lineup
• 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Silver at 2009 Seattle Wine Awards
• 2006 Merlot
Seattle Times “Top 100 Washington Wine 2009” recipient
91 Points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine
• 2007 Merlot
Available for purchase only
• 2007 Syrah
Silver at the 2010 Seattle Wine Awards
Bronze at the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition
• 2007 Matchless Red Wine
Silver at the 2010 Seattle Wine Awards
Silver at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
• 2007 Malbec
Double Gold at the 2010 Seattle Wine Awards
Available for purchase only

WHERE: Woodinville Tasting Room in Apple Farm Village
14525 148th Ave. N.E.
(near the Hollywood School, west side of 148th Avenue)

WHEN: Tasting Room Hours:
Friday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

PRICE: $5 Tasting Fee

Otis Kenyon is located at 23 E. Main St., Walla Walla, Wash. and at 14525 148th Ave. N.E., Suite 111, Woodinville, Wash., and is named in tribute to four generations of Otis Kenyons. Established in 2004, the winery is dedicated to producing delicately structured and affordable wines under the direction of Winemaker Dave Stephenson. The two vineyard sites are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Walla Walla tasting room hours are Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Woodinville tasting room hours are Friday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Follow Otis Kenyon Wine Online
Twitter: @otiskenyonwine
Facebook: Otis Kenyon Wine

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Media Contact: Andrea Courtney
Randall PR / (206) 624-5757