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Arlington's Tony Rutigliano Takes on First Entrepreneurial Venture to Open Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar

Aug 03, 2017 01:15PM ● Published by Melanie Heisinger

Tony Rutigliano in the soon to be Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar

Tony Rutigliano has been the president and CEO of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation for the past six years. Redevelopment is the name of the game for people in this position and that's exactly what Rutigliano helped others do during that time. He was the champion to up and coming businesses in the Arlington area.

Nicole & Tony Rutigliano.

However, Rutigliano has decided to leave that all behind and and start a business of his own. His next, and first, project is opening Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar, a place he hopes will be relaxed and a "home away from home" for those in the area.   

Taking over the former Lester’s Automotive Repair shop will be the location Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar.

The grand opening is expected to be sometime in October 2017, and the community can't be more excited. We got in touch with Tony Rutigliano to learn a little bit more about his decision to open a coffee-wine bar, as well as some more details we should be excited about. 

And, of course, we needed to learn more about the wine! 

Tell us a little bit about Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar. When and how did it get started?

I woke up one day after celebrating a milestone birthday, and asked the question, “What’s my legacy?” I then began to wonder about the next phase of my life, as well as what I could do to build something that would sustain my family and that, ultimately, I could leave behind. And, after being the head cheerleader for downtown Arlington, I realized that there seemed to be something missing; a community gathering place. A place where we could bring the community together using coffee and wine. Nothing like that existed. That’s where the idea for Urban Alchemy started.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What's your role there?

I started working in Arlington about 2005 for the City. Since then I’ve worked in the public and government relations field. Most recently, I’ve served as the president and CEO for the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation. Our job is to champion the revitalization of downtown Arlington. (And, if you haven’t been in awhile, you should come check it out.) I’ve held this position for the last six years, and it’s been the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had.

What led you to quit your job as CEO of Downtown Arlington Management Corp. and start Urban Alchemy Coffee?

During the last six years in downtown, so many people have come into my office at the DAMC with an idea or a dream.  And, over time, I watched  them turn their dream into reality. Frankly, that inspired me! It gave me the confidence that I could the same thing; that I could be an entrepreneur. Ultimately, it was a very hard decision to leave, but I decided (actually I was nudged by God) to take the proverbial “leap of faith.”

How has it been getting ready for the opening? Has the community been welcoming?

We are planning to open in October. I can’t believe how supportive the community has been already. We can’t wait to open the doors, and thank them for the love they’ve shown us throughout this process.

What's been your favorite moment so far?

The journey! I’ve learned so much during this process of taking an idea and turning it into reality. It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses, but collectively, the ups and downs have enriched my life and I’m better for it.


What do you anticipate will be the most popular item on the menu?

 

I’m guessing here, but I expect the most popular item on our menu will be wine. And, we’re planning to have over 40 different labels, most of which will be available by the glass. We’re also planning a unique menu of signature coffee drinks, sandwiches, salads, pastries, desserts and charcuterie platters.

What can someone expect while visiting Urban Alchemy Coffee?

Urban Alchemy will be your home away from home. I want it to be Arlington’s living room. My goal is that you’ll find a comfortable spot whether you’re on a date with your husband or wife, or you’re celebrating a special occasion with a group of friends. Cozy and comfortable without the fuss of worrying about who’s going to do the dishes.


Where do you see Urban Alchemy Coffee heading? What are your goals for the future?

Great question! It’s a little early, but I think it’s entirely possible that we’ll open a few more around the area. I love building community, and can see this concept working in other places too. We’ll see.


Are there any upcoming events?

We’re anxious to open the doors, but even before we open, our extended Urban Alchemy family will have the opportunity come see us in person at Taste of Arlington, which is scheduled for 2pm Saturday, September 2 on West Main Street near Theatre Arlington. I hope to see you there!


Keep up with Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar's progress by following them on Facebook or by visiting their website

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