New wine bar offers cozy European atmosphere

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MANCHESTER — Walk through the doors of what used to be Factory Point National Bank on Main Street, and you'll find chic, industrial lights, a bookshelf home to a collection of cookbooks, and cheerful diners conversing over lattes and paninis.

It's the Mystic Cafe & Wine Bar, and since its November opening it's been welcoming locals and visitors alike for lunches and dinners.

Cousins Jak and Sabi Benardete moved from Miami and Manhattan respectively to Manchester with the goal of opening a restaurant with terrific food and a warm atmosphere. The co-owners were born in Turkey and have lived in several places, including Switzerland, Spain, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.

After visiting Vermont for eight years, they finally bought a house in Dorset. "We fell in love with the town and the people. Manchester is a beautiful place," Jak said.

The goal was to create a comfortable, cozy space for friends and neighbors to relax and feel at home — and perhaps enjoy a second glass of wine. The abundance of natural lighting and European decor, Mediterranean-inspired fare, and prime location certainly help achieve this.

"Having lived all over the world and understanding European aesthetic, we wanted to bring that feeling into the place but also make sure it didn't feel out of touch with where we are — a farmhouse feeling with European vibes," Jak said.

Mystic Cafe & Wine Bar serves a wide selection of tasty, healthy offerings for lunch, ranging from a kale salad with quinoa and roasted butternut squash to hearty tomato soup accompanied by Vermont cheddar grilled cheese.

For dinner, Mystic provides a variety of shared plates and tapas as well as an extensive wine and beer list.

They include meat and cheese plates, flatbreads and Italian braised sausage from Fortuna's across the street.

The owners pride themselves in "always offering something freshly made. We use local and organic ingredients as much as we can so we can continue to offer exciting, delicious menu items," Jak said.

The restaurant, open since late November, will start serving Sunday brunch in February and plans on exhibiting local artists' works.

Mystic Cafe & Wine Bar is located at 4928 Main St. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. For additional information, "like" Mystic Cafe & Wine Bar on Facebook or call 802-768-8086.

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