The Mark Wine News Winter '18 Volume 8.1 - Page 6

Prime Life F leming ’ s P rime S teakhouse & W ine B ar S tephen B levins By Lisa Gmur, CSW 4 T he first time I met Stephen Blevins we were at a wine dinner in Napa. I quickly learned he was the Managing Partner at the Flemings in Walnut Creek, California and we chatted about how perfectly charming the town of Walnut Creek is and how I loved exploring it. I also quickly learned how charming he is. Every time someone went to take a photo I would immediately take off my glasses. He told me I was crazy and that they looked fabulous on me. I smiled, feeling very flattered but I am pretty sure I continued to take them off. When I heard that he was going to be the new National Director of Wine for Fleming’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar and was relocating to Tampa, Florida, I reached out to congratulate him. And things were moving fast. He and his wife Alyson and their new baby were packing up their belongings and heading southeast. His wife and three month old son Samuel by plane, while he and his brother would be traveling by car. “Samuel has already been on 10 flights and driven cross country twice,” he adds. “To say the least we have moved around a bit,” says Blevins of the four places they have lived just in the last 42 months. After Walnut Creek, Blevins went to the flagship restaurant in Newport Beach. A few months later the opportunity to move to the new company headquarters in Tampa came up and once again the Blevins family were on the move. “My wife and I are all about moving and having new opportunities and experiences.” They rented a house while they looked for one to buy and just as they were closing on the new house and about to move in, Hurricane Irma came to town and forced them to evacuate to Knoxville, Tennessee. “We actually drove to Stephen Blevins, Director of Wine Knoxville and back twice during the hurricane.” Once the all clear sounded, they returned to Tampa and are finally able to enjoy their new home and neighborhood. “We love it here. Our neighborhood is all these old bungalows mixed with businesses and parks. We can walk to Trader Joe’s and pretty much everywhere. It’s such a great mix and we don’t have to get in our cars on the weekend,” he adds. The best thing about finally starting to unpack, they found their favorite gear. “We just found our backpack and hiking things,” which totally thrills this outdoorsy couple. “We love camping, hiking, floating, anything outdoors” says Blevins, “we even recreated a 10 day float on the Yukon River in Canada my wife had done when she was a kid.” Not surprisingly their favorite getaway is a small town in Northern Michigan. “There is a lake and no Fleming’s Filet with Truffle Poached Lobster, Bernaise sauce& Caviar THE MARK WINE NEWS