Cellar 205’s Holiday Bash

Text & Photos by: Shannon Kelley

In the whirlwind of champagne and pigs-in-a-blanket that is the
holiday season, it’s hard for an invitation to any event — no
matter how fabulous — to stand out. But, recently, amazingly, one
did. I don’t know if it was the name (Red & White Bash: A
Holiday Party for the Rest of Us); the offer of free admission with
an unwrapped toy or unopened can of beer (generously gathered for
the homeless folks who populate the premises after hours); the
promise of Styrofoam snowball fights; or the on-the-money sign-off,
“It’s Winter Somewhere,” but something compelled me to venture out,
the night before The Indy’s holiday soirée, into the heart of the
Funk Zone for Cellar 205’s holiday party. Sure, it might have been
more responsible of me to conserve my merrymaking-mojo for my own
company’s celebration, but I’ve never been accused of being overly
responsible, and the holidays are certainly no time to start.

And so, under the light of the low-hanging moon, I made my way
to Cellar 205, the winemaking cooperative housed on Anacapa Street
in what was once a tire shop that now plays host to the operations
of three expert, grape-loving prodigies: Christian Garvin, John
Bargiel, and Ryan Carr, guys who know what they’re doing and how to
have a good time while doing it (witness the Ms. Pac-Man machine in
the barrel room). And the good times were already a-rollin’ when I
arrived; hundreds of people packed the sizable space. Decked out in
their holiday best, they spilled into the parking lot, where Holden
was providing the tunes — a quality soundtrack of covers that
included “Suffragette City,” one of my all-time favorites, which
made me an even bigger fan than I was already, if for nothing other
than their well-documented, er, fondness for older women. Smart

I made my way through the crowd, happily surprised to see the
glass of zin that suddenly appeared in my hand, and happier still
when I spotted one of my favorite local purveyors of fine cuisine,
The DogHouse’s gourmand Vinny, pointing me in the direction of the
grub (he knows me well). Blissfully savoring my white-bean
bruschetta, I chatted up Garvin and the red-suited Bargiel, who was
eager for me to try his latest. Generously, I obliged (who am I to
deny a man with such skills?), and enjoyed it so much that I hardly
noticed the party foul that landed some unlucky lady’s wine on my
shoe. (They were black; she is forgiven.) Instead, I continued to
enjoy myself. And though I hated to tear myself away, I took
comfort in the knowledge that the holiday party season was just
getting underway, and my work was just beginning.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.