Timothy O. | Wine Director
Years of Industry Service: 20
Tall and lanky in a long, black coat, perfectly worn-in black jeans, with a cup of coffee in his hand, Timothy looked like the Neo of wine standing in the back alley of Avenues, as he took advantage of the quiet time between lunch and dinner, confident and at ease. When he started in the restaurant business 20 years ago, he was more of a scared-y cat than the Matrix. His very first job was serving ice cream; that led him to restaurants which led to seven years of bussing tables. He said, the first five years, he was too scared to even talk to people. As his restaurant knowledge grew, so did his confidence, and wine was his gateway. "When I started knowing more about wine, and knowing more than the guest, that was the confidence I needed," he said.
As a wine director for Avenues, Timothy has to analyze cost benefits for a profitable list. But if had carte blanche on creating any wine list he wanted, he said he would probably price it so low, he'd be out of business. He doesn't personally believe in a big wine mark up. It would be expensive to maintain that kind of list, but he said he'd love to do that.
In addition to managing wine lists for both Avenues restaurants, he also writes for Sommelier Journal (he has a feature in the the Nov. 30th issue) and is pondering the idea of book. For now, he is developing a blog, writing about restaurants, management and other stories. He says that the restaurant business will be the "trunk of the tree" but he'll be focusing on other things too. Tentatively called The Dirty Sommelier, Timothy says, "Right now, I'm just working on writing. You hit a point when you've seen enough to warrant enough material to put in a book."
Timothy was born in Holland and grew up in St. Louis. He likes art and going to museums. He's a regular at the Nelson-Atkins, but his favorite is the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He moved to Kansas City seven years ago after leaving a restaurant that was "pulling a Titanic" and he also left a relationship. He spent one year at JJ's as a server and walked into Avenues during construction to land his sweet, wine gig in Brookside.
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