Home to many chain restaurants, Bakersfield has struggled to make itself stand out in terms of cuisine and dining. However, a new local gourmet restaurant may be just what Bakersfield needs. The city has taken steps in becoming more polished by welcoming Wiki’s Wine Dive and Grill in the southwest. The dive’s grand opening was April 16 and grew busy quickly.
Wiki’s, located in the Grand Island Village at 11350 Ming Avenue (across from the Seven Oaks neighborhood), is expected to bring a more refined and elegant ambiance to Bakersfield. With its sophisticated menu, the restaurant will have delicacies such as lamb, seafood, duck and more. The food prices range from $14 to $35 and the wine is priced from $30 to $500.
According to Amanda Caldwell, 22, a recently hired employee of the winery/restaurant, the atmosphere is inviting, intimate, cozy and warm. She said she can’t wait to continue her work at her new job because “it’s an adrenaline rush.”
“It’s a new classy environment where you can enjoy and learn about fine cuisine as well as fine wines,” said Caldwell as her lips curved into a smile.
Caldwell has been studying wine lists and serving etiquette. As well as practicing how to uncork a wine bottle properly, to prepare herself for opening day. As someone who hopes to one day open up her own winery and restaurant, she said she was excited to learn and gain experience through her new job at Wiki’s.
Maria Kovach, a 65-year-old Bakersfield resident of three years, said that she believes Wiki’s will bring class and help answer the demand for high-end cuisine in Bakersfield.
“[The] unique cuisine and environment will help diversify Bakersfield’s stereotypical western country atmosphere,” Kovach said.
Bakersfield is known best for its Basque food and Buck Owens’s Crystal Palace, an establishment with country roots.
“As Bakersfield’s local populace diversifies and culturally grows, those who already have been exposed to different types of cultures and cuisine more so than Bakersfield residents of the past, restaurants like Wiki’s will be not only welcomed but sought after in Bakersfield to supply the demand of the changing times,” Kovach added as her eyes lit up. Kovach, Italian by descent, explained that because of her Sicilian roots, she is eager to try out the winery.
The restaurant includes a spacious patio and dining area with a fireplace. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling of the restaurant alongside other lighting fixtures – and even a unique fountain – made of wine bottles.
The establishment also features an expansive wine cellar to house more than 200 types of wine sold by the bottle, ranging from high-end domestics to imports from well-known wine-producing regions of the world. There are 25 types of wine by the glasses. There are also 28 brews of beer, 22 by the bottle and six by the draft. Beers include lagers, ales, stouts and porters.
Wiki’s is open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Only ten reservations are accepted a day.