San Fermin on 11/24 by Ehud Lazin
San Fermin on 11/24 by Ehud Lazin

BREAKING NEWS: City Winery Now Requires Proof of COVID Vaccination Plus a Negative Test Result

City Winery now requires all diners and concert attendees to show proof of COVID vaccination plus a recent negative COVID test for entry into the indoor seating of its Manhattan complex. Michael Dorf, CEO and founder of the eight-city chain of restaurants and showplaces, announced this ground-breaking policy this morning and will implement the policy immediately to all customers ages five and up. Tonight’s Los Lobos concert at City Winery and the Chris Pureka concert at the Loft will be the first to experience this new safety protocol.

City Winery becomes the first restaurant or entertainment venue to employ this safety protocol. City Winery led the way in May 2020 by requiring that all indoor customers must show proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test. This pioneering effort started months before the municipal government regulated this policy for all restaurants.

“Due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 virus, City Winery will now require all restaurant and ticket holders to show a negative COVID-19 test for entry (PCR test within the previous 24 hours or a rapid test taken within six hours before the event date) in addition to proof of full vaccination status,” read a statement published at 10 a.m. this morning.

The venue will have a limited number of rapid tests on hand. Restaurant guests who require a rapid test will be subject to a $40 food and beverage minimum. Dorf recommends that City Winery guests complete their tests prior to arriving. City Winery will accept PCR tests or rapid test results uploaded to the NYC COVID SAFE APP, a smartphone screenshot, or documentation from a health care provider. Customers also must present a physical or smartphone copy of their CDC vaccination card; New York residents can use the Excelsior Pass.

Rodney Crowell at City Winery on 10/14 / Photo by Ehud Lazin

“At this stage in the pandemic, with new variants on the rise again, we will continue to create an environment that is as safe as possible moving forward,” reads the City Winery announcement. “Our number one mission is to create a safe, comfortable, and ideal setting for our dining guests, our artists and those attending live performances of music, comedy, or any art on our stage. We care about the lighting, the air-conditioning, the sightlines, the exits for egress, the fire suppression systems, the quality of the food, the service; everything that goes into making the customer experience as magical as possible. We want people to feel comfortable. We will be trying to make it as easy, seamless, and friction-free as possible.”

City Winery opened its new location at 25 11th Avenue in October 2020 after a six-month delay due to the mandated restaurant closures through much of last year. Socially-distant seating meant tables were far apart, contactless menus were implemented, and other safety protocols were introduced. The venue closed in December when a spike in the infection rate led to more restrictive governmental policies. The venue reopened in April 2021 when the governmental restrictions were lessened.

Today’s statement concludes, “Hopefully, this temporary system will facilitate the end of this pandemic and horrible bit of history for our world. It has been devastating for so many, including us in the live performance world. Accommodating this policy, leaving all politics out of it, will allow artists to earn a living again, our staff to be employed, and the arts to have a place in our society again. Your cooperation will help us to not go back to limited capacity or worse, that tragic state of closing our facilities again. Thank you.”