Jul 27, 2014
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6 Questions for Cin-Cin Wine Bar Owner Lisa Rhorer

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6 Questions for Cin-Cin Wine Bar Owner Lisa Rhorer


, 368 Village Lane, is an acclaimed business offering new contemporary cuisine with an international wine list and
innovative cocktails. Cin-Cin is co-owned by Don Durante, a successful Bay Area local restaurateur and Lisa Rhorer, a former Google marketing professional-turned-sommelier. Its hours of operation are 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, happy hour; 5-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; and 5-11 p.m., Friday-Saturday. Closed on Sunday. Details: 408-354-8006, or cincinwinebar@gmail.com.

Los Gatos Patch: How does your personality play into your business?

Lisa Rhorer: Integrity, innovation and education are important to me. Integrity is key in how we treat our staff and guests. Bringing new ideas into our business is critical and I am always looking for ways we can innovate in what we offer our guests. As we add new wines and flavors to our menu, education is  key to our staff development. I continue to push myself to learn more every day and try to keep our staff intellectually engaged by educating them about our menu – everything from how the ingredients come together, down to where the grapes are grown or how the food was produced.

Patch: What inspired you to open a restaurant?

Rhorer: I started working in corporate America at a very young age and worked in high tech for about 20 years. Google was my last high tech job. It seemed clear to me that being at Google was a part of history that came once in a lifetime. I just couldn't imagine working for another high tech company, so I decided to parlay my money and time into a career that incorporated my other passions - food and wine. I took a big leap and left Google, enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, did some international travel, continued learning about the restaurant business and shortly after opened Cin-Cin.

Patch: What makes Cin-Cin different from other restaurants? 

Rhorer: The wine education our servers receive is extensive and we encourage them to be the best in their field. As a result, our food, wine and cocktail programs represent some of the best options in the Bay Area as indicated by the Michelin Guide and OpenTable.

Patch: Describe the best thing about owning a business in the town of Los Gatos?

Rhorer: The most positive thing is our guests! Los Gatos residents are a savvy community when it comes to food and wine, so they challenge us to keep our menu fresh and innovative. Many times they are the inspiration for a new dish, a unique bottle of wine added to the menu or a cool new cocktail. It’s also great to be a part of the diverse and exciting Los Gatos dining scene that has allowed people in the South Bay a place to explore fine food and wine right in their own backyard.

Patch: What is your business' greatest asset?

Rhorer: The people - both in who we employ and who do business with. 

Patch: What keeps you inspired?

Rhorer: I enjoy continuous learning whether it's from a trade publication, attending a seminar or talking to a successful business person. Traveling and visiting other food and wine destinations is relaxing, but also a great way to evaluate the service, food and wine programs in other thriving hot spots. It keeps the ideas and inspiration flowing which I can then infuse into our business. Creating something from the ground up is also challenging and inspiring and I am opening up a second restaurant in Los Gatos – - in the fall/winter time frame.

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