Chive Kitchen stays creative in its business model, offers wine-themed events all month long

In the first few months of the COIVD-19 pandemic, downtown Farmington’s Chive Kitchen was faced with a difficult decision: In order to stay open, the vegan restaurant and bar had to cease operating as their loyal customer base had come to know them. Gone was the fine-dining experience; catering events and curating private parties was the new norm.

Catering and private parties was always part of the business model, says Suzy Silvestre, owner of Chive Kitchen, but with COVID it became the focus. Since then, Chive has re-opened as a more casual destination, operating on a grab-to-go model where customers can order online and in-person. While there’s no table service, they can eat inside now, too.

For fans of a more formal experience, the vegan restaurant is now offering wine-themed dinners and events throughout the month of December.

“We’ve always had a good wine selection — and specifically, vegan wines. It’s something we’ve been cultivating over the years,” Silvestre says. Though it may come as a surprise to some, the wine-making process isn’t always vegan-friendly.

“Of all the spirits, wine is the one you have to watch out for the most,” she says.

Planned for Saturday, Dec. 18, is the Lioco California Wine Dinner event, a five-course vegan dinner prepared by Chef Suzy Silvestre with curated Lioco wine pairings. The ticketed event costs $89 and begins at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday, Dec. 31, is the New Year’s Eve Dinner, which also pairs vegan wines with a five-course vegan dinner. The event begins at 8:30 p.m. and costs $99 to attend.

But that’s not all for Chive and wine. Throughout the month of December, select bottles are available to purchase with a 15 percent discount. And each Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m., the “Chive Uncorked” happy hour series offers a rotated selection of vegan wines, and also at a discount.

“COVID has been hard and continues to be hard. I see businesses dropping like flies and I’m working 80 hours a week. But I’m lucky to have a small dedicated team here,” Silvestre says. “All you can hang on to is hope. And stay creative.”

Visit Chive Kitchen online to learn more about their wine-themed events throughout December.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.