City Winery is located on 155 Varick Street, Manhattan, on the corner of Varick & Vandam Street. Situated in Greenwich Village, it is an actual restaurant and winery that also has a stage for seated shows. Opening at the start of 2009, it was started by Michael Dorf, the founder of the now defunct Knitting Factory to the southeast.
Stretching down along Varick, the entrance is at the southwest corner of Varick & Vandam. There is a bar along the north side, with a large circular staircase going down to the wine cellar and bathrooms. Past that are the tables, with a raised section farther south. The actual stage is on the west wide of the restaurant, across from the street side, hidden by curtains until opened, but within clear view of all the tables. The sound system is good, though obviously has to contend with patrons eating and the like.
In addition to wine-tasting and -making classes and the ‘Klezmer Brunch’ on Sundays, City Winery has a couple of shows a week. They naturally tend towards the older artists, as well as more towards the singer/songwriter plus backing line-up than your standard band. There are also usually no openers, which leads to prompt start times, but also extensive sets by the artists booked. Like other seated venues such as Joe’s Pub, or the far larger Town Hall and Radio City Music Hall, you can’t dance or worm your way to a great spot, but do have a great view and aren’t squeezed. You can also have dinner with your show, along with an intimidating wine list (don’t worry: they also have beer), and the prices, though not cheap, are not as expensive as you might expect for a restaurant. Marrying a restaurant and a music venue is never easy, but it’s a relaxing and classy way to see a show.
155 Varick Street (Corner of Varick & Vandam Street)
A, C & E trains to Spring Street – walk 1 block west on Spring Street, turn left on West side of Varick Street
1 & 2 trains to Houston Street – walk 3 blocks south on West side of Varick Street
1 & 2 trains to Canal Street – walk 5 blocks north on West side of Varick Street
A, C & E trains to Canal Street – walk 1 block northwest on Canal Street, 5 blocks north on West side of Varick Street
N & R trains to Prince Street – walk 7 blocks northwest on Prince Street, 1 block west on Charlton Street, 1 block south on West side of Varick Street
A, B, C, D, E, F & M trains to West 4th Street – walk 7 blocks south on 6th Avenue, 1 block west on South side of Vandam Street
-Guitar Mash Jam with Lower East Side Girls, Rob Schwimmer, John Conte, Sam Bush, Emel, Bill Sims Jr., Joseph Arthur, Guitar Mash Teens, Dar Williams, Tom Colicchio, Jo Lawry, John Herrington, John Schaefer, and Mark Stewart, December 11th, 2016 – Guitar Mash Jam Finale photos, Lower East Side Girls photos, Rob Schwimmer photos, John Conte photos, Sam Bush photos, Emel photos, Bill Sims Jr. photos, Joseph Arthur photos, Guitar Mash Auction photos, Guitar Mash Teens photos, Dar Williams photos, Tom Colicchio photos, Jo Lawry photos, John Herrington photos, John Schaefer photos, Mark Stewart photos, Crowd photos
-Amanda Shires, September 13th, 2016 – photos
-KT Tunstall, August 19th, 2015 – photos
-Sinead O’Connor, October 30th, 2014 – photos
-Jeff Bridges, September 2nd, 2014 – photos
-X, August 21st, 2014 – photos
-Living Colour, June 1st, 2014 – photos
-Bob Mould, March 7th, 2014 – live review
-Graham Nash, September 26th, 2013 – photos
-World Party, September 5th, 2013 – photos
-Fool’s Gold Party, September 3rd, 2012 – photos
-Mugison, August 18th, 2009 – photos
-Fastball, May 9th, 2009 – photos