Join the Club

Elke's Market Cafe Welcomes Wine Lovers

When Gregory and Kim Casale took ownership of Allen’s beloved Elke’s Market Cafe, they exercised the utmost care in transitioning Elke’s into what it is today. 

“When you buy a successful restaurant,” says Gregory, a 1994 Culinary Institute of America graduate and former corporate chef, “The last thing you want to do is change it.”

“We still use Elke’s handwritten recipes,” adds Kim. 

Allen’s devotion to Elke’s is what helped the Casales make the decision to purchase it in August of 2020 – a surprising time to venture into restaurant ownership. 

“People ask me all the time, ‘Why did you buy it in the middle of COVID?’” says Gregory. “And our sense was that if Elke’s made it through the lockdown, it’s a strong business.”

Over the past few years, Gregory and Kim have made subtle changes to make Elke’s their own. From fresh paint and new artwork to artisanal sodas made with real sugar, there’s a lot to love about the updated Elke’s. 

“There are a lot of additions we’re really proud of,” shares Kim, “I would say our wine program is one that is really important to us.”

Early on, the couple owned a fine dining restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona called Gregory’s World Bistro. Kim ran the wine program at Gregory’s and later sold fine wines to restaurants in their area. They knew they wanted to put Kim’s expertise to work at Elke’s, too.

“I’m also a Certified Wine Educator,” adds Kim. “I enjoy educating people about wine. It’s fun. And at the end of the day, it’s still just wine – I could be super snobby, but I really enjoy finding wines that people like to drink that fit their palettes and their budgets.”

When they first formed the wine club in November of 2020, members would pick up their bottles on a specified date after enjoying a tasting. Over time, the wine program has expanded to include multiple tastings a month.

Given Gregory’s fine dining background, Elke’s now offers one special meal on wine tasting nights. Guests can enjoy the exclusive offering or order off the regular menu.

Elke’s Wine Club members enjoy monthly tastings and significant discounts on bottles of wine. Non-members may attend wine tastings for $10 per person. The next tastings are October 12 and 13, November 9 and 10, and December 7 and 8 from 5 - 7 p.m. Learn more and RSVP for the next tasting event at www.elkesmarketcafe.com.


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