There is a wine revolution taking place in Lynn, and sommelier Sarah Marshall is at the forefront, poised to introduce retail as a happening with Lucille Wine Shop and Tasting Room, located in the former home of iconic bar Fran’s Place at 776 Washington Street.
Sarah gravitated toward wine early on in her career, but her route to Lucille was a circuitous one, and she has a very impressive list of employers with whom she has honed her expertise over the past 14 years. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Sarah first worked as a hospitality intern at L’Espalier in Boston while studying at Northeastern University. An opportunity to manage private events for the restaurant brought her closer to wine, and after a six-week journey through Spain and France, she was resolute in her decision to make it the focus of her career. Upon her return home, she took a retail position at Central Bottle in Cambridge.
When an opening at Barbara Lynch’s South End eatery The Butcher Shop opened, she jumped at the chance to learn from veteran wine director Cat Silirie. “Cat has a way of educating which is contagious and empowering. She takes a very creative, artistic approach. I was also able to teach wine classes at Stir, the neighboring demonstration kitchen, and I fell in love with teaching.”
Looking to take her education further, Sarah completed her Certificate in Wine Studies at the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center at Boston University while working as Boston Harbor Hotel’s assistant wine director. She also became a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She then ran her first wine program as wine director at Ana Sortun’s Oleana in Cambridge, and a star was born. While at Oleana, she traveled extensively in Europe and worked her first harvest with esteemed winemaker Sybille Kuntz in the Mosel region of Germany.
Three years ago, Sarah bought her home in Lynn, and that is when she began thinking of owning her own business. But along the way she started SMWine Consulting and helped revitalize the wine program at Oleana’s sister restaurant Sarma.
Then while she was out jogging one day late last autumn, Sarah took a different route home and found herself in front of 776 Washington Street, where she noticed the large “For Lease” sign. “I had been questioning my next chapter in wine,” she says. “I knew when I became a resident of Lynn that I wanted to own my own business here.”
Peeking inside the tall windows, she saw high ceilings and exposed brick and was sold.
The name Lucille came from Sarah’s maternal grandmother, who was the first in the family to work in hospitality—as a chef at a fraternity, with only an eighth-grade education. Her portrait, by local artist Nicole Hogarty, will hang on one wall. Although Old World abundance will set the tone when it comes to the wine, global selections will certainly keep time with favorites from Spain, Italy, France, and Germany. A sweeping space along another brick wall will be home to the Tasting Room, the heartbeat of the shop, where classes and tastings will take place.
“Lucille is meant to be a space in which to learn, gather, connect, and help celebrate the community, and the revitalization of Lynn. It is also my way of honoring those who have taught me along the way.”
776 Washington St., Lynn, lucillewineshop.com.