Coming Soon! RISÜ Wine + Bar Opening at The Crest
Today we’re talking to Mark Dunton, owner/operator of RISÜ, a stylish new wine + bar opening soon on the ground floor of The Crest in the heart of Downtown Long Beach.
This is exciting news! When are you planning to open?
We have a few final inspections to complete. We’re hoping for an early April soft-opening.
Please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I moved from Minnesota in 2007 and helped open and operate District Wine, a local wine bar, lounge, and retail shop where the novice and connoisseur alike can enjoy over 30 wines by the glass. I’ve left District Wine and now my focus is operating RISÜ. My experience in this industry has created a passion for wine, food, and service.
What inspired you to choose this path?
I love making sure people have a great time – and it’s a natural fit to be in the hospitality industry.
We’re intrigued by the name RISÜ. Does it have any special significance?
We talked about what people do when they go out. We kept coming back to the keywords: laugh and smile. My good friend and business partner, Brian Leibl, found the Latin root translation for smile/laugh and it came up as RISÜ. We put the two dots over the Ü like a big smile.
Tell us about your concept for RISÜ. Please describe your wine selection, menu, and interior design, and anything else you’d like to share.
We will focus on tasty sharable food plates paired with an amazing wine selection. Also, we will have a Wine Club, beer, and a full liquor cocktail program. The design is a modern look with warm-colors and a large covered patio. We’re on the rainbow bridge, which connects the Long Beach Terrace Theater and the Convention Center.
How did you choose your location at The Crest?
Once the building started to take shape, I was talking with the wonderful team at Ensemble about creating a Wine & Bar. We discussed many options but ultimately decided to independently sign a long-term lease and utilize the great location.
It’s great to pursue your passion, but we know it’s not always easy. Tell us about your challenges and successes.
The main challenge was long construction delays. We understand that this comes with the territory with large, new projects, but still, it was a challenge. Success was getting a full liquor license and being able to create a place from scratch.
What are you most proud of as a company and what sets you apart?
One main thing that will set us apart is our location. We have an amazing night view as we are connected to the rainbow bridge. The bridge lights up like a Disneyland show and will help create a relaxing night out.
What do you love about Long Beach? What are your favorite neighborhoods and what do you enjoy doing?
I love the local community and how they support a small business. I also love spending quality time with my daughter and golfing. Belmont Heights, where I live, has some great places to enjoy and of course, I love Downtown.
Photos by Dave Locke Photography
Mark Dunton Mark@therisu.com