Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Swanky new wine bar opens in Tower

The new Cuvée Spirit & Wine Parlor looks more like something you’d stumble upon in San Francisco’s Union Square than in the Tower District. Swanky, I think, is the best word to describe it.

The new wine bar is at 1140 North Van Ness Ave., just south of Olive Avenue. The owners have put a lot of effort into making this spot look nothing like the Hungry Howie’s Pizza and the mixed-martial arts store it used to be.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but as for the experience, expect modern lounge music soft enough to hear yourself talk and waitresses clad in black, skin-tight clothing.

It’s definitely a different vibe from the more down-to-earth Pinot Wine Bar down the street on Olive Avenue. Different wines too: Where Pinot carries wines from all over the world, Cuvée serves only wines from California and France.

There’s food too, with small plates and appetizers ranging from sweet potato fries to plates of cheese and chocolate. Their wine and food menus are online here.

Cuvée also has a full bar.


A glass-enclosed “wine cellar” is kept at 53 degrees.


A patio facing Van Ness features couches and heaters.




Responses to "Swanky new wine bar opens in Tower"

Donald Munro says:


Dre says:

The beehive may want to consider investing in a better camera… THese pictures don’t do this amazing new lounge justice.

Bethany Clough says:

Hi Dre,
These photos were taken with an iPhone by a reporter (me). Unfortunately, we don’t have the staff to send a photojournalist out for a blog entry. Were the photos to run in the actual newspaper I can assure you, a professional photojournalist would be taking the photo. Thanks for reading.

JJJ says:

I would wager many a student at FSU and Fresno City would take the chance to be a photojournalism intern in return for a better resume and a recommendation letter.

Rick says:

In fact, I used to shoot for the Bee (Talk, South Valley Edition), and I’d be happy to help, as well.

Jess Samora says:

I don’t recommend the new wine bar in town. Below is my post to them which has now been deleted.


I attempted to attend your grand opening this past weekend. Although for reasons not understood by me was not let in. It’s clear you do not cater to the general public. Myself and those in my party waited in line for 40 minuets. The couple in front of us had been waiting for an hour. Naturally people were getting upset and decided to leave as they watched others waltz through the VIP line. While I’m sure there was some legitimate reservations, the two gentlemen working the VIP line were letting their boys in, or any woman that flaunted enough skin. (Places that let people in based on their looks is distasteful). Shame on you.

your local neighbor.

Annie B says:

I love Cuvée. My friend’s and I were out there around 9 and we walked right in. So you are incorrect they do cater to the general public. That was mys first time there. Anyone that has ever been to a grand opening of a popular place should expect to wait in line when they get there late. If you know you’re going to be late you should call in and make reservations. Just a suggestion. Any case we stayed all night. Place is amazing. Fresno definitely needs more places like this. I will be going back for sure!

tameus1 says:

Let me get this straight. The complaint is, “I had to wait in line while VIP’s, Reservations and pretty women went in.” Sounds like an awesome lounge has finally been built in the Tower!

In all seriousness, I was in Cuvee on the Grand Opening around 7pm. There was no line, it was full, and there was a duo singer/bassist performing. Maybe the “complainer” needs to go early or make a table reservation next time. Awesome venue! and kudo’s to the people willing to spend what was clearly a ton of money to bring such a great place to the Tower District.

pz says:

Sooooooooo you waited 40min in line and still went in??? And later you post a hate message??? By the way are you JW??? And if you are 1. why were you there??? And 2. why are you so hateful? Its people like you that buy 1 drink and complain about everything. Do yourself the favor and buy a bottle of wine not hater rade and stay at home. safe yourself the embarrassment and the rest of us the headache….

your next door neighbor says:

local neighbor,

Did you look at the pictures?? Of course they’re going to be busy, especially on their GRAND OPENING! Nobody asked you to wait in line for 40 minutes and from the sound of things this doesn’t make a place like this distasteful it’s the people like you.

Bella says:

I have had the pleasure of attending this bar on a couple of occasions. It is true that some nights during later hours, they get really busy. But, let’s be real, what can you expect from the “New Hot Spot” in town? Access has only, from what I have seen and yes I was turned away a few times, been restricted when they are a little busier than usual. So, if you are trying to check it out, I suggest going early, which is what I have learned to do in general. They do offer bottle service which I’ve witnessed being served even mid-week, so I wouldn’t be surprised if people find themselves disappointed when they can’t get in on the weekend. Try the brunch, or mid-week happy hour. You won’t be disappointed!

Brad says:

This place is great! Coming from a big city I’m so glad it opened, it has that big city structure but you still feel like you’re in Tower. I’m not much of a wine drinker so i was relieved to see that they had a full bar and the bartenders knew what they were doing, recognized a few from Elbow Room. My only complaint is that the kitchen closes at 10, but hey, it’s a parlor not a restaurant lol. My only suggestion would be if you’re going on a big night make reservations!

kitty kat says:

is that wood lattice from home depot on the walls?…just askin’…

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