Zies, a new wine bar and bistro on the Twijnstraat, opened its doors almost three months ago and the owners Francies Slee and Anthony Scheffers have been very busy since the opening. They produced a Christmas lipdup, scored an 8+ in the ‘gouden pollepel’ test by the newspaper AD and produced a promotional video. But their main business? Ensure that their guests can enjoy delicious Southern European wines and cuisine.
At ZIES we want to bring the sunny south of Europa to Utrecht
Where did the idea for ZIES come from?
Francies: “My partner Anthony and I have been thinking about our own wine bar for more than ten years. I have always worked in the hospitality industry (including Wilhelmina Restaurant and Restaurant Opium) and I have a passion for wine. Moreover, both Anthony and I have a huge passion for Southern Europe. Anthony lived in Spain for a year and my father lived in Italy. We wanted to combine our love and passion for hospitality and wine with our love for Southern Europe. And, when we came up with this idea, there was no wine bar in Utrecht at all. Our idea was unique. “
But things have changed, now Utrecht has several wine bars. Did this influence your plans?
Francies: “Not really, because we are totally different than other wine bars. First of all we are also a bistro, so people can have dinner at ZIES too. Beside that, we offer the best of Southern Europe and our dishes are prepared in a Spanish charcoal furnace, the Mibrasa. There is no other wine bar that does the same. Do you know that feeling of when you’re in Barcelona or Tuscany, relaxing on a terrace and drinking a glass of wine? That’s the feeling we want to create at ZIES. Beside that, we have something for everyone. People who do not like wine can taste one of our Southern European beers and you can also get a cup of coffee with a treat.”
Why did you choose to open ZIES at ‘de Twijnstraat’?
Francies “Anthony and I both live in Utrecht, so we wanted to open our first own wine bar in our home town. Anthony lives nearby the Twijnstraat and when we saw that this property was for rent, we made arrangements immediately. The Twijnstraat is a busy street, there is always something going on. The only thing that was missing, was a wine bar.”
Why did you choose the name ZIES?
Francies “Anthony and I have known each other since primary school and as long as I can remember, he and other friends call me Cies. Because I didn’t want to give our wine bar the same name, we’ve decided to call it ZIES. Moreover, ZIES doesn’t belong to one city. That was a requirement, because in the future we want to open a second and perhaps a third wine bar with the same name in another city. “
What’s your favorite wine at ZIES and which one do you recommend the visitors of Explore Utrecht?
Francies “That’s tricky. Anthony and I tasted a lot of wines and only the ones we both like, we now sell at ZIES. But if I have to name a favorite one, I choose Chianti Classico Riserva, Antinori. Everytime you drink this wine, you will taste something else. It’s necessary to eat something when you drink this wine, but that’s possible at ZIES too!”