An intimate entertainment space called Antiquité Maison Privée has opened in Midtown.
Five doctors and nurses who met while working at UC Davis Medical Center have opened a fine antiques store by day and an event space by night in the historic Chatterton Building. Revolution Wines operated an urban winery in a back warehouse there until last summer.
The ground floor of the 1924 Mediterranean-style building at 2114 P St. is filled with antique furnishings, wool rugs, ceiling fans and tables set around a small stage.
The owners, who range in age from late 30s to 50s, hope to provide an intimate "private house" experience for special events ranging from music recitals and poetry readings to Second Saturday art shows and themed movie nights.
"We're trying to create an atmosphere in the evenings where we would like to go," said Dr. Sharon Wilson, who is a faculty member of the UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine."We want it to be like coming into someone's house, really."
The next event will be held at 8 p.m. Jan. 28, with Sacramento guitarist Derek Keller, drummer Jonathan Raman and other performers providing an intimate concert as part of the avant-garde Guitar Expressions Music Series.
The building's owners are all friends and include Wilson, a Sacramento resident; Marci Hoze, a Sacramento resident and nurse manager at UC Davis; Donna Cova, a manager at Calstar air medical transport; and Highland General Hospital OB-GYN Dr. Linda Price and her husband, Highland General Hospital ER Dr. Dan Price.
Doing business as the Chatterton Group, the group bought the building in 2003 as an investment. The second floor holds artists' studios. They initially leased the ground-floor space to various tenants, but took the building back over in 2010, Wilson said.
Architect Charles Chatterton originally designed the building for a sheet metal manufacturing plant. Verl Lovell converted that into an antique store in the 1940s or 1950s. Antique and art collector Michael Forbes bought the building in the late 1990s, then sold it to this group.
A year ago, they began offering some of Forbes' high-end pieces for sale by appointment at the building. Antiquité is furnished with a 1920s wooden speakeasy bar, an Art Deco dining set of birdseye maple, Japanese tables, painted American library tables and a 19th century French Normandy armoire. Carved solid wood tigers from the 1950s guard the tiled foyer entryway.
"We've been low-key – just waiting for people to find us," she said.
The only other regular events scheduled there now are Second Saturday art shows. But the owners hope to start Thursday movie nights in February. In April, they plan to open Jason's Midtown Winery in the warehouse vacated by Revolution Wines. The winery will be run by Revolution Wines' first winemaker, Jason Fernandez, and Wilson's sister, Lisa Wilson, who is getting a wine-making degree.
For the next Second Saturday, Feb. 12, they're offering music from 17-year-old piano player Sky Manzanetti, romantic movies, red wine and chocolate in a candlelit setting. Wine is offered for donations, and food is gratis.
Antiquité is open on Second Saturdays from 5 – 10 p.m. Starting in April, they anticipate having regular hours from 11 a.m. – 3 or 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with weekend hours as needed for events.
The 3,200-square-foot ground-floor space can be rented for $80 an hour. The space has been booked for bridal and fashion shows and mixers for groups like the Midtown Business Association. But Antiquité operates on a retail license and is not an events venue or a banquet hall, Wilson said.
They may consider turning the space into a restaurant if the economy improves and they find an interested chef. But for now, the owners have had fun entertaining friends, regulars and people who've just discovered the space.
"Some nights we're full. Some nights it's really empty. But it just really doesn't matter," Wilson said. "Our goal is to break even. We all have a day job."
Suzanne Hurt is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @SuzanneHurt.