Once upon a time, many years ago in the faraway neighborhood of Henderson Avenue, I went to work at La Cave Wine Warehouse. Owners Sam Stuart and Francois Chandou opened the first wine bar in Dallas. After the restaurant/winebar/wine retail shop closed, Chandou and his wife, Anne, has kept the business of selling and storing wine alive for 36 years. Today he’s tossing in his cork screw. He’s sold the business to Kirk and Rhonda Chandler. His letter to his loyal customers is below.
(Way to go, Frank!) Enjoy retirement.
After 36 wonderful years,
Time has come to say “Au revoir”
Time has come to hang up my boots. As of March 29, 2013, Kirk and Rhonda
Chandler are the new owners of La Cave Warehouse. Until now a confidential
agreement precluded me from sharing this information with you.
Looking back all the way to the 1970s when I started La Cave, I feel very
blessed for the amazing career that this country and its people have
Growing up in the wine business under the astute mentorship of my late
father, Raymond Chandou, and later studying wine under the late Prof. Emile
Peynaud, it sort of made sense that I would somehow, somewhere end up in the
wine business myself. Texas welcomed me open heartedly and from the jillions
of bottles and cases handled over the last 40 years, my back and I feel that
we are done! It has been a fun ride, from innovating “wine by the glass” and
“wine storage” to teaching scores of wine courses at universities and
community colleges, a 10 year digression into food service, making
presentations to the wine trade in Texas and adjacent States on behalf of
the French Government, consulting with individuals and a plethora of
organizations, charities, etc.
But frankly, what stands out most in my mind are all the people I met along
the way. First, I want to express my gratitude to my wife, Anne, who
provided me, sometimes unconditionally, the necessary support without which
none of that would have been possible.
Wine, the ‘healthiest of beverages’ is indeed convivial. The times shared,
the bottles opened and the amazing dinners, the friendships forged with many
of our clientele and the successes that we have enjoyed will always remain
an extraordinary part of our life. I am very proud of what we have achieved
and there have been times and people I will never forget.
I am very grateful to all of you for having made my life a better life. Many
of you are the side of the business that I will miss most. I hope that we
will cross path again and bid you not ‘adieu’ but ‘au revoir’. Kirk and
Rhonda are intent and determined to run
La Cave the very same way we have and we will still be around and helping
for a while. Please call, email and come by to meet the new owners. You will
not be disappointed.
With my deepest appreciation,