Monthly Archives: May 2013

NEWS: David Keck’s New Playground


May 15, 2013

Houston, TX – This is an announcement of a new project with Houston sommelier, David Keck and restaurateur, Paul Petronella.  David will be heading up a progressive yet warm and welcoming wine and beer bar in the space adjacent to Paulie’s Restaurant at 1834 Westheimer, Houston, TX.  It shall be called Camerata at Paulie’s.

This is actually an expansion of Paulie’s, except patrons may use the separate entrance door which was formerly 1830 Westheimer, or the back door located in the Paulie’s parking lot.  As Paulie’s customers already know, Southland Hardware on Morse St. has already agreed to share their lot after 6pm, and of course after 9pm the Paulie’s lot is available.  As the operating hours shall be 4p and 2am, there will be ample parking. (Which doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t walk or ride the bike when possible)

The name Camerata was taken from the Florentine Camerata, a group of artists, musicians, intellectuals and writers in Renaissance Florence, Italy.  The term “camerata” means literally, room or chamber where the gatherings were held.  These rooms incubated some of the greatest art and music in the history of Florence, as well as birthing the concept of opera.  The name rings true to both David and Paul because of the Italian heritage and appreciation for music and art, David being an opera singer.

David and Paul have known each other for several years connecting through the food and beverage industry.  The extended space next to Paulie’s has been available for quite awhile, and the idea of a wine bar has always been on the table.  Finding the right person is what made this possible.  Paul & David see eye to eye on the future of wine in Houston.

David has been in the fine wine and dining industry for the past decade, beginning his work with artisanal beer and wine service in Vermont and New Hampshire. Following graduation from high school, David traveled extensively in Europe, sparking his passion for wine in the hills surrounding Vienna and in the vineyards of Tuscany.

David received his Bachelor’s Degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, concurrently receiving his bartending certification from Columbia’s prestigious Bartending School and Agency. He also continued his wine education and pursuit of fine wine service in various establishments in New York City, working with several fine wine specialists. Following graduation he pursued Diploma studies at the Juilliard School, studying operatic performance at school, and continuing wine appreciation and education outside of school.

He left New York City to work two years as a professional opera singer.  He completed his Master’s Degree in Opera Performance at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. While traveling for singing, David pursued his passion for wine, tasting extensively in New Zealand, Austria, Italy, France, and of course throughout the United States. Following studies at Rice, David pursued wine exclusively, receiving further education and certification through the Guild of Sommeliers. He recently received his Advanced Sommelier Certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, winning the Rudd Scholarship for the top score in the exam.  He was also first runner-up in the 2012 Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition at TEXSOM, and placed third in the National Finals for the 2013 TOP|SOMM competition in May in San Francisco. Most recently David worked as the Beverage Director for the renowned Uchi Restaurant Group.

In the Camerata at Paulie’s, David wants to provide an unpretentious meeting place where guests can enjoy delicious beverages that are made by people not companies, and speak of the place where they are grown, harvested, fermented, and bottled.

The food menu will be limited to fine charcuterie and cheese options.  If looking for a full meal, dinner at Paulie’s is recommended, then follow with drinks next door at Camerata.

Gin Braverman is heading up the design.  She is most known locally for designing the beautiful Oxheart space, as well as bars/restaurants in New York.

The space is on schedule to open this July.

Follow at and for updates.

These guys are excited to share beverages in this space with Houston!