New York’s City Winery has been hosting high-end performance from a wide swath of artists since its opening in lower Manhattan in 2008. Since then, the brand has expanded rapidly, with additional locations popping up in Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Now, as Gothamist notes, it looks like City Winery will have to vacate its original Varick St. digs, as Disney has agreed to a $650M, long-term (99 year) lease for a new company headquarters. The one-million-square-foot complex will take up an entire block—from Varick to Hudson, and from Vandam to Spring—meaning they’ll have to level all the existing buildings on the block to build it. The property is owned by Trinity Church, a major downtown real estate presence.
However, while the new Disney lease will force City Winery to move their New York operation by 2020, founder and CEO Michael Dorf told Gothamist that the development was expected and that they’re already in the process of looking for a new location. “This is not unanticipated,” Dorf noted, “When we signed our lease ten years ago there was a discussion and a clause about what would happen if they were to demolish the building. It foretold of the future. … Trinity Church has been a good landlord and communicating with me about what was happening over the last couple of years. It was not a surprise at all.”
The new Disney lease did, however, come to fruition faster than many expected. As Dorf explained to Gothamist,
[The Disney deal] happened faster than everyone thought, but we’re still looking at a January 1st, 2020 move, which gives us more than enough time to find a new location. … I’m more than okay. I’m super excited.
What’s hard to understand is that when I opened this concept in New York ten years ago, no one had done a music venue/winery in Manhattan. Since then, I’ve been able to build six of them around the country. Each of those spaces is bigger and better than the one I’ve done in New York, and I’ve learned a lot. So for me the idea of moving into a new location is really exciting because I’m going to be able to take those ten years of experience combining a working winery with a restaurant and music venue in the middle of Manhattan, and make what will be our ultimate flagship.
For a list of upcoming performances and events at the current, original location of City Winery, head here.