1. What drew you to downtown Texarkana as a place to open your business?
We both [Candace and husband Paul] like downtowns and saw an opportunity to add to the revitalization efforts in downtown Texarkana. Things are going so well with the restaurant, we were able to expand to the space next door with The Cellar.
2. Do you have a favorite downtown moment or memory?
As soon as we moved in to our first space, Verona, the other businesses downtown embraced us. We have met and made friendships with our immediate neighbors - we bought our lighting fixtures over at Logan Electric! Everyone is very supportive, it's like a family down here.
3. Tell us something interesting about your building.
There's a framed piece that was here when we moved in called "A Century of Wallpapers." It's a collage of scraps of all the layers of wallpaper that were up on the walls here throughout the past 100 years as different businesses operated in this space.
4. What do you want people to know about your business?
We get a lot of calls about our dress code. Customers should not feel obligated to dress up to enjoy a meal here. We do strive to create an atmosphere through service, and white tablecloths are a part of that, but we want our guests to come dressed comfortably and ready to enjoy delicious food and wine.
5. What would you like to see downtown in the future?
More retail would be great, little boutiques are popping up in other regional downtowns and that would be great to see here. We also welcome more restaurants, this could become a "restaurant district" for Texarkana, that would be cool.
Candace and husband Paul Baird are co-owners of Verona Italian Restaurant and the recently opened wine bar, The Cellar at Verona. Boasting a large collection of beer and wines, The Cellar is a "more casual version of the Verona experience, without the pressure to order an entire meal" and is available for private parties up to 50 people. On September 7th they will begin hosting wine tastings with food pairings for $15/person. For more information and to stay up to date on events, Like and Follow The Cellar at Verona Wine Bar on Facebook.