Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 | 2 a.m.
Rhonda and Jeff Wyatt have been building a local treasure for 11 years, since purchasing a quaint wine shop and café in Desert Shores called Marche Bacchus and gradually growing it into a beloved off-Strip dining destination.
The restaurant has long maintained a reputation for stellar food, fine and rare wines and a unique, picturesque setting next to the man-made Lake Jacqueline. Its newest offerings, a beautiful backlit abalone shell bar and full cocktail and spirits program, arrived in October on the heels of an accident in which a truck was driven into the front of the building. The accident ended up accelerating the renovation.
“The guy actually paid for the demolition,” jokes Jeff Wyatt. “But we had already planned out the design process for the bar and new vestibule area, so the accident started the [construction] process earlier. We think we maximized what we could develop in terms of new patrons on the restaurant side and revenue was fairly stagnant, so this was the next logical step.”
Now when you enter Marche Bacchus, there’s a bit more division between the bar and the wine retail space, but the 18 seats at the bar also bring an entirely new way to experience the restaurant and its cuisine.
“We love the way the design came out and we hear it from our customers, that this bar looks like something you’d find in Manhattan,” Rhonda Wyatt says. “We feel like we’ve opened up every possible option, whether you want to sit at this beautiful bar and dine there, or have a cocktail before you dine on the water. We’ve covered so many bases.”
What they’re serving at the bar is just as special. In addition to an extensive original specialty cocktail menu, there are more than 60 single malt Scotch options as well as premium and hard-to-find varieties of bourbon, rye, tequila, cognac and Armagnac. The well vodka choice is Belvedere.
The Wyatts decided to create the kind of high-end bar program you’ll usually only find in fine dining restaurants on the Strip. They collaborated with Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits mixologist Max Solano to compose the cocktail menu and hunted for rare spirits to build a unique collection.
“We had created this wine program that was unlike anything in Las Vegas and certainly to this day you can still find things you would never find off the Strip, so when we decided to go the spirits route, it had to be the same thing,” Rhonda says.
“When you go through the specialty drinks and the list of different alcohol, it’s a mind-boggling selection,” says Jeff. “And a lot of this stuff is priced to be fairly aggressive to the favor of the patron.”
Marche Bacchus also boasts a brand new bar food and happy hour menu designed to match the experience, and like the lunch, brunch and dinner offerings, the new dishes go beyond the restaurant’s signature French fare to incorporate Mediterranean and European flavors. And one more important bonus for locals: You can watch Vegas Golden Knights games at the bar, too.
Marche Bacchus is located in Desert Shores at 2620 Regatta Drive #106, and is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.