Lola… You Should Go
By: George Balling
We have known Sam Lange for over a decade and have worked with Sam frequently in his previous roll as the Sommelier at Beverly’s at the Coeur d’Alene resort. Our paths have crossed even more frequently in his other “gigs” in the wine industry over the years. Sam has been at the business of wine for a long time and has one of the best and most respected palates in the business. We have known Anna Lombard as long as we have known Sam. She has been a customer of ours and we have been customers of hers. We respect Anna’s talents as one of the most astute business people in North Idaho, and appreciate her wonderful friendship and welcoming style more than we can say.
Sam and Anna have joined forces just recently in Lola, the name is a combination of the first two letters of both of their last names and the front for an exciting new venture all wine consumers should plan on visiting. Lola is located between 7th and 8th on Lakeside, their outdoor sign for the business has yet to arrive but the “under the radar” feeling of the unsigned space, for me, only adds to the cool factor of this sleek and elegant wine bar.
Since its opening just about a month ago we have visited 3 times, once during the soft opening, once by ourselves for an after-work glass of wine and once with a group of friends. It has impressed every time. As mentioned, the décor is sleek and elegant and I would add intentional in every detail. The combination of bar, high table, low table and sofa seating is comfortably spaced and like everything in the space beautiful and functional. Not a detail was missed in the design and layout.
Lola features a compact and complete offering of snacks and small plates designed to pair with the extensive offering of wine both by the glass and the bottle. For those less enthusiastic about wine a selection of beer and canned cocktails are also available. We have ordered an assortment of the small plates every time we have gone and have been thrilled with the delicious wine friendly bites turned out of the small prep kitchen.
At Lola it really is all about the wine. Sam’s vast experience, finely tuned palate and consumer awareness are all on full display with the wines he and Anna are highlighting. It seems a bit mundane to say the list has something for everyone, but they really have assembled a thoughtful and intentional list that checks all of the boxes they should check. It is better than that though as they accomplish a diverse list with really cool choices, and choices you don’t see every place in town. To be more accurate, you don’t see them anywhere in town and that is a huge bonus.
The wines are fairly priced and every wine consumer, regardless of budget with Sam’s expert guidance will find a choice that pleases. The most impressive part of the list though is the selection of more sought-after wines from around the world. Some of our favorite wineries like Rochiolli, Dominus Quintessa and many more are all represented. The choices from France and Italy are equally robust and while the list is focused and carefully crafted it avoids being “anything centric”, which again is a positive. The breadth of choices is in short, wonderful.
Sam’s and Anna’s focus is laser sharp on what Lola is. It is a wine bar and a really great one at that. They are not going to be a wine retailer, nor are they attempting to run a wine club, they are simply going to be the coolest, most attractive and most welcoming wine venue in town. We respect this focus and will tell you they have already, in less than a month accomplished just that.
Their schedule at Lola for now is Wednesday through Saturday from 3 until closing and Sunday from 11 until 4ish. Anyone who really likes wine should make plans to go now. As the word continues to get out about this awesome addition to the wine scene In North Idaho it will become more challenging to get a seat in this beautiful and intimate space. We will continue to be regulars and suspect we will see many of you there.