November 25, 2012 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

After more than 20 years traveling the country selling E&J Gallo wine, Dan Matuszek was ready for something different but still very familiar.

An entrepreneur at heart, it had been his ambition for several years to open his own wine and spirits retail space—but he didn’t want it to stop there. His business vision included a bistro where people could meet, have dinner, and drink some great wine, as well as offer an events center for parties and gatherings throughout the year.

It took him a couple of years to put all the pieces together, but Matuszek realizes his dream every day he goes to work at brix in Village Pointe. His second location—currently under construction in Midtown Crossing and due for its grand opening January 10th—will have a similar vibe but with a very different layout and intent.

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“We are responding to the market need in that area for this type of business where people have a place to meet after work or on the weekends, have some great food and drinks, or stop by on their way home to grab a couple of bottles or whatever they might need,” said Matuszek, relocated to Omaha from his native Wisconsin with his wife, who is from the area, in 1992.

“We have a great young chef, Erik Rickard, and our focus in Midtown is going to be to provide a great dining experience first. The location (former Republic of Couture spot) has a great veranda that holds 150, where people can sit and listen to Jazz on the Green or just relax with a meal and a great glass of wine.”

Unlike the Village Pointe location, which opened in 2009—first with the retail space and then the bistro and events center followed several months later—all three spaces will open simultaneously at the Midtown Crossing restaurant.

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In addition to the usual fare—including imported Enomatic dispensing machines that allow guests to sample various wines by using a prepaid smart card—the Midtown spot will have more than 28 varieties of draft beer (unavailable at the Village Pointe location) and a mixologist for custom cocktails and craft drinks, a growing national trend.

Originally, Matuszek was looking to open a second location in the Old Market but couldn’t find the right building and location that would work for his brand. He was approached by Midtown Crossing more than a year ago about opening there, but, again, the right location wasn’t available at the time.

When the Republic of Couture closed in July—offering the right amount of space and built-in traffic—Matuszek and his business partners snatched up the location within a few days and started remodeling the space in August.

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“Our new location will have the largest selection of beer in the city, great wine selection, a full menu, and a full experience,” Matuszek said. “The time is definitely right, and where else but in America can you build a locally owned business from scratch like brix? I wake up every day and never have to go to work because I love and believe in what I do. We want our guests to experience that same feeling when they come to enjoy a meal or glass of wine at brix.”

For more information about brix, including upcoming specials or to rent space in the events center at either location, visit brixomaha.com

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