CB1 Tells Tribeca's City Vineyard Restaurant: Sell Alcohol LATER

Rendering of City Vineyard on Tribeca's Pier 26 near Hubert Street, scheduled to open on May 1. Rendering: City Vineyard via Tribeca Trib

Feb. 11, 2016

Please, keep the spirits flowing.

That was the message on Wednesday when Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee, almost certainly for the first time in its history, called on a new bar and restaurant to serve alcohol later than its owner had requested.

The new establishment is City Vineyard, the wine-centric eatery scheduled to open on Pier 26 in Tribeca on May 1, with interior construction to begin in about two weeks. Representatives of City Vineyard, Michael Dorf’s spinoff (without the concerts) of his City Winery on Varick Street, appeared before the committee for its advisory approval.

They were asking to operate up to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

But Bob Townley, a committee member whose organization, Manhattan Youth, runs minigolf and volleyball concessions next door on Pier 25, said for the sake of safety in Hudson River Park, City Vineyard should close at 12:30 a.m., every night.

“The later people are at that restaurant the better for security in the park,” Townley said, claiming that Pier 25 had become safer on summer nights since the bar boat, Grand Banks, opened on the pier.

Late nights during the week are the most desolate times, Townley said. “So if someone in the summertime wants to go have a glass of wine or even a bottle of seltzer at 12:30, it brings more people to the park.”

Not surprisingly, the lawyer representing City Vineyard, Ravi Sharma, was quick to comply.

“We’ll amend the [application] right now,” he said.

The committee voted to advise the State Liquor Authority to approve a 12:30 a.m. closing, seven days a week. The later opening on the weekdays still requires an amended lease with City Vinyard’s landlord, the Hudson River Park Trust.  

In a telephone interview, Dorf called the decision “ironic.”

“We will accommodate the community if they would like us to be open a little later, we will try,” he said. “Especially if they drink heavily.”

“We’re very humbled,” Dorf added, “by the fact that people would like us to do what normally doesn’t happen at community board meetings.”

According to floor plans submitted to the committee, there will be 11 tables and 44 seats indoors, with the same amount of table seating both on the patio and on the roof. The roof bar has stool seating for 26, according to the plans.

One board member, Marc Ameruso, objected to the later closing hours, saying that people who live nearby, presumably in Independence Plaza, would be able to hear music played on the roof.

Ed Greer, the restaurant’s chief of production, argued otherwise. “Any music that we do will be ambient music, background music for the diners,” he said. “We’re only putting speakers inside and at the bar.” Live music, he said, will be “a brunch, guitar-type of thing, or a small jazz trio.”

City Vinyard’s straight-forward menu, as submitted to the committee (see below), offers such openers as seared lamb tenderloin, braised duck tacos and roasted octopus; the main courses include a LaFrieda burger, lobster spaghetti and crispy chili tofu. Murrays also makes an appearance with several cheese and meat boards. Prices, Dorf said, will be comparable to City Winery’s Barrel Room, where dinner entrees start at $18 (for a “LaFrieda” burger) to $29 (for Dukkah Crusted Ahi Tuna).