When the popular Ristorante Divino closed temporarily last year, it reopened with a new location and a new name. Di Vino Rosso opened next door to its previous location at 803 Gervais Street in Columbia, and the well-loved Italian eatery also gained a new name — di Vino Rosso, owner Brad Spehl said.
Spehl and executive chef Mike Deevey restored part of the historic Dupre Building at 807 Gervais Street for the restaurant that has been in business for more than 20 years.
“This was a major rebranding. I wanted to create an atmosphere where the feel took you to another place. The space was a Ford dealership showroom in 1919,” said Spehl.
“It has the original hand-laid marble floors, the original metal decorative ceiling, exposed beams, exposed electrical, and a lot of the original glass and windows. Keeping with that era and feel we went with exposed Edison bulbs, 1920s style fixtures, and furniture. On the seating, I wanted to do oversized comfortable chairs so you would be able to relax, have a great meal and enjoy wine while listing to our baby grand piano. We changed the menu slightly to incorporate some more traditional Italian dishes with a different style and presentation.”
Born and raised in Irmo, C. Bradley Spehl was an entrepreneur from a very young age. He started working at the age of 15 in several restaurants in Columbia where he gravitated to management and working with the aspects of owning his own fine-dining restaurant.
After earning multiple licenses and certifications in business and accounting in 199, Brad dipped into the financial and insurance industry, and in 2014, he created his own financial company, Steeplechase Financial.
The real magic behind Di Vino Rosso is the close friendship between Brad and Executive Chef Mike Deevey, who have been friends since 2005. Loving to cook himself and enjoying countless evenings discussing wines and food techniques, Brad had the opportunity to be partner with Chef Deevey on rebranding Ristorante Divino to Di Vino Rosso.
Focusing on fine Italian food while bosting one of the largest wine collections in Columbia, the two brought Di Vino Rosso back to life with new branding and a new feel.
“One of the biggest changes to our menu is our wine program. We wanted to have a large range of wine for every taste and budget. We increased the selection to over 200 different bottles, making Di Vino Rosso the largest selection in Columbia,” Spehl said.
“Another small but important step we take is that we decant every bottle or red wine. We are the only restaurant to do this extra step which allows the wine to breathe and mature to its proper flavor profile.”
4, The must-try dishes include the beef carpaccio and the agnolotti, a fresh pasta ravioli stuffed with sweet potato and mascarpone cheese topped with powdered brown butter.
“Our Bruschetta is made fresh daily, the gnocchi is also a must-have with the wild boar Bolognese finished with gorgonzola cheese,” he said.
“We kept the pappardelle which has been a favorite for over a decade, and of course the rack of lamb which too has been a staple. One of the unique things is that our pasta chef creates new dishes daily. With specialty salads and fish specials every day, you always have a lot to choose from.”
For information and reservations, visit divinorossosc.com.