“In a world of rainbows, puppies and unicorns, we’ll open in our new space in May,” said Sigh bubble bar’s hopeful owner Jayme Powers.
With the help of a local design firm and a team of workers, Powers is busy transforming her new, much larger, location on West Napa Street, next to Tasca, Tasca.
“We needed more space,” she said. “Particularly in the summer and on weekends. We were just so cramped in our old spot and I’m excited to be right on the main street, and to have to space to potentially host small events.”
Sigh is currently tucked down Vine Alley in Sonoma Court Shops. The move to 120 W. Napa St. will give Powers 1,700 square feet, more than double the 630 square feet Sigh now occupies.
Tackling the massive renovations are Mark Wilson and Yoko Ishihara of the new Sonoma-based restaurant- and hospitality-design company Ishihara Wilson.
Wilson, who lives in Sonoma Valley, has more than 20 years of design experience with a focus on restaurants and bars. Originally from Japan, his partner Ishihara, has directed teams for international design firms and worked on commercial projects for more than 20 years. This is their first project in Sonoma.
While her job site is currently dirt and boards, Powers excitedly describes the plans for the new space, including its large oval bar, banquets and booths.
For the project, Wilson said they’re using natural materials like marble and wood and the existing concrete floors and tin type ceiling.
“While it’ll still be a casual, ‘feel free to wear jeans’ kind of place, it’s going to look glam and have a really luxurious interior,” said Powers.
Powers opened Sigh in 2012. The bar can stay open later than a traditional tasting room, which means that Powers works long hours, assisted only by a handful of part-time employees.
“I have a different liquor license because I’m not a wine producer,” she explained. “My ‘type 42’ permit is for a 21 and up bar and in addition to champagne, I can serve any brand of wine and beer and stay open until 10 p.m.”
Currently Powers pours a rotating list of two dozen brands from all over the world. In the new space, Sigh will offer a small selection of wines on tap, using technology that keeps wine fresher far longer than open bottles sealed with corks.
“The technology is amazing,” said Powers. “We’ll probably offer a couple of reds, one white and one rose,” she said. She expects to offer a menu of seven to 10 small plates as well.
Born and raised in Sonoma, Powers graduated from Sonoma Valley High in 1999, and from Chapman University in 2003. Her background is bubbly. She worked for several years as a tour guide and sparkling wine educator at Schramsberg Vineyards and it got her excited to offer a bubbles bar in Sonoma.
Thanks to glowing Yelp reviews, some national press and its status as a bachelorette party must-do, Sigh has seen steadily growing business since opening.
“It’s been a thrill to see how well received the idea has been here in Sonoma,” said Powers. “Girls in particular walk in and are over the moon when they realize we’re a bubbles bar. Husbands have said, ‘Oh, thank you, you’ve saved my marriage.’”
While the name Sigh comes from the sound that a sparkling wine should make when being opened (as opposed to the iconic “pop”), Powers has opening tricks that aren’t always so understated. If you see her wielding a sword on Napa Street, don’t be alarmed. She is known for teaching customers how to use a saber to open a champagne bottle and she may use one to christen her new building this spring.
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