Modern Food and Drinks Meet Historical Venice at Dry Tour, Venice’s Newest Restaurantby Alex Quaid on June 22, 2012
The newest restaurant and wine bar to open its doors in Venice is Dry Tour, located on the corner of Windward and Pacific. I sat down with the restaurant’s owner, Arron Turnbull, to find out more about what’s going on at Dry Tour.
My first impression of Arron was intense. His exuberance and passion for his business shown through right away when he began talking a mile a minute about how proud he was to finally open his business – in his ideal location no less.
Arron immediately began showing me an album he had created depicting all the steps he had taken to open Dry Tour and excitedly told me his tale of perseverance in spite of many obstacles. After just a few minutes I knew that Arron deeply cared for his business and its impact on the Venice community.
So why the name Dry Tour? The name comes from an expression Arron heard while living in Denmark, and it roughly means equivalent of having a dry spell. Arron envisions Dry Tour as being a place where people can come when they are having a tough time, a long day, or a dry spell and feel welcomed. He plans to do this through great food and drinks, and friendly staff.
What is Dry Tour serving? Arron said the best way to describe the food is International. That sounded like a cop out to me, but after looking at the menu I saw the wide range of food he was talking about. I mean, when was the last time you heard of a short rib Wellington or a Potato bar? Coupled with this you have more well known items such as Paninis and a charcuterie plate. Don’t forget the wine list, which Arron is particularly happy with. He even exclaimed, “I dare you to find someone who has heard of this wine!” as he pointed to the menu.
Something that resounded with me was Arron’s goal to provide value in all the dishes and drinks he serves. This is a welcome relief compared to many of the “gourmet” restaurants in Venice where the dishes seemingly to get smaller and the prices continually rise. Arron doesn’t want people to leave hungry or feel like they are being gouged. I think this will definitely help endear Dry Tour to the local crowd.
Arron realizes the importance of appealing to Venetians and wants Dry Tour to become part of the fabric of the Venice community. He has taken a few steps to give the restaurant a lasting vibe, centered on the idea of Old Venice. First, the location is a historical site – one of the first buildings in Venice, constructed in 1904 – so Arron teamed up with the Venice Historical Society to get photo prints of the original building as decorations for the space.
He also designed the ceiling of the restaurant to mirror the original arched ceilings of the walkway on the exterior of the original building. This brings the Old Venice architecture inside and Arron also kept the original floor tiles at the entryway and exposed the original brick walls to add to the ambiance.
Arron says the response has been great so far. He has already seen several locals coming back to Dry Tour on consecutive nights to sample different dishes. You can just see his eyes light up when talking about his business and because of that, you know Dry Tour will be a success.