City Winery Is Bringing Its Culinary and Cultural Brand to Boston This Fall
A new venue is coming to Boston that will make it possible to sip on your own, custom blend of Napa Valley or Argentine grapes, while watching a touring artist on stage in a comfortable, full-service restaurant. City Winery has signed a 15-year lease in a new development near the North End.
A passion project by Michael Dorf, a music promoter and founder of New York’s legendary Knitting Club, City Winery is a multifaceted culinary and cultural endeavor. It debuted in Tribeca in 2008 and has since expanded to Chicago, Nashville, and Atlanta. (A short-lived Napa location shuttered last year.)
The company sees a “deep rooted connection” between musicians and winemakers, as well as fans of each, according to City Winery’s website. “Boston will be a very strong market for us given the sophisticated audiences there; we could not be more excited to have finally found the perfect home,” Dorf told GlobeSt.com.
City Winery is headed for the ground level of One Canal, a luxury apartment development opening this summer. It will inhabit 20,000 square feet, plus an additional 10,000 square feet in the basement of the 12-story building.
Existing locations of City Winery offer concert dining in the venue space, as well as service in the barrel room, and private event options. The wine-friendly cuisine is French, Italian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern-inspired, with items like duck tacos guacamatillo salsa and cabbage slaw; artichoke risotto balls with sun-dried tomato pesto; squid ink pasta with rock shrimp, preserved lemons, fennel, and tomato; and porcini-crusted N.Y. strip with roasted tomato, caramelized pearl onions, and mashed potatoes.
In New York and Chicago, a 400-plus bottle wine list includes about 20 produced in-house, and a few on draft. “But we are not just winery behind closed doors,” Dorf writes on the website. Guests can create their own private barrels, crushing the curated varietals sourced from the world’s great wine-making regions and designing their own labels. The Hub has one make-your-own wine venue, Boston Winery on the Neponset River.
City Winery locations are designed with wine-making in mind; barrels and steel fermenting tanks are visible throughout the venue, and repurposed bottles and corks comprise lighting fixtures and other decorative elements. Features like wooden columns and beams, exposed red brick, and archways recall European and North American wineries. On average, the facilities can accommodate about 300 guests. In addition to dining and live performances, City Winery hosts food and wine classes and winery tours.
The concert venue hosts touring artists—in New York, upcoming performances include Sean Watkins, Nada Surf, and a screening of David Bowie’s Labyrinth—for intimate, seated shows. As the New York Times put it in 2014, it’s “City Winery’s plan to lure the people ignored by the youth-obsessed music industry: fans over 40 who will pay extra for a classy meal and a room quiet enough to hear the plucking of a guitar string.”
Boston has reached out to City Winery for specifics on the Boston venue. It’s slated to open in October.
City Winery, coming fall 2016 to 54 Canal St., Boston; citywinery.com.