The BroadsheetDAILY ~ News of Lower Manhattan ~ 2/25/20 –

Posted By on February 26, 2020

Enoteca on the Hudson

City Winery Prepares to Open at Pier 56

A rendering of City Winerys new, soon-to-open location on Pier 56, with the Little Island Park (now under construction) visible at left.

As Lower Manhattan has morphed into a residential community and dining destination, another ongoing evolution has attracted less notice: Downtown is becoming a performing arts district. The highest-profile illustration of this shift is the Perelman, which (thanks to the largesse of its eponymous benefactor) has become the shorthand name for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center that is slowly rising out of the ground near the intersection of Vesey and Greenwich Streets. But the opening of this facility is still several years away.

In the meantime, music lovers can look forward to the April debut of City Winery, at Pier 57 (within the Hudson River Park), near West 15th Street. Occupying 32,000 square feet within a 1950s steamship dock that is also being remodeled to serve as office space for Google, the new restaurant, wine bar, and music hall will replace the legendary venue of the same name that vacated its decade-old home on Varick Street last summer, forced out by Disneys purchase of the entire block, with plans to build a massive new headquarters there.

The new City Winery will seat 100 in its restaurant space, with room for 350 in its concert venue. All rooms will have views of the nearby Little Island Park (which consists of undulating, tulip-shaped platforms) now being constructed at Pier 55. Another amenity likely to draw passersby into City Winery is the two-acre park now being laid out on the roof of Pier 56.

Founder Michael Dorf (who made his reputation as the creator of the Knitting Factory music venue) opened City Winery in 2008, and quickly built it into a musical and viticultural powerhouse, with branches in Nashville, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The venues are noted for an eclectic roster of musical acts, and for a diverse selection of wines made possible by a custom-developed tap system that dispenses fine reds and whites from a dozen-plus aluminum tanks and more than 300 wooden barrels. A large part of the wine list comes from blends made on the premises, for City Winery is one of the small handful of functioning wine-making facilities in the five boroughs of New York. Mr. Dorfs passion for wine may also be familiar to Lower Manhattan residents who have visited his other restaurant, City Vineyard, located on Pier 26 (near North Moore Street), also in the Hudson River Park.

Like the Knitting Factory before it, City Winery became famous as an intimate venue, where headline acts performed for audiences numbering in the hundreds, rather than the thousands. Among the artist that City Winery will welcome to Pier 56 after its April opening are Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Sinead OConnor, and the Mountain Goats.

Mr. Dorf, who is the father of three children, has lived in Tribeca since 1994. In addition to running a successful restaurant empire, he has built a reputation as a philanthropist in recent years. He created the Tribute series at Carnegie Hall, which has partnered with artists like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Sedaka, Elton John, REM, The Who, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon to raise more than $1 million for charitable causes. Mr. Dorf is also the founder of Tribeca Hebrew (an after-school Hebrew program in Lower Manhattan) and Downtown Arts Development (which oversees the New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival).

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The BroadsheetDAILY ~ News of Lower Manhattan ~ 2/25/20 -

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