A Danny Meyer-backed bar opens this week on the ground floor of the Shed, the high-profile arts center located where the High Line and Hudson Yards meet in West Chelsea.
Dubbed Cedric’s, the all-day bar is located within a living room-like space in the public lobby of the performance venue at 545 West 30th St., between 10th and 11th avenues. The Shed itself has already been open, but starting Wednesday, that lobby bar will begin serving cocktails, beer, wine, and bar snacks. Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group brought over a team from Porchlight — the cocktail bar the group opened a few steps away in 2015 — to run day-to-day operations.
While there will be table service, Cedric’s will focus more on drinks than food, with no reservations accepted. It’s mainly a spot for showgoers to grab a cocktail before or after a show or a gallery viewing at the Shed, though the Cedric’s team hopes the bar will also attract neighborhood folks such as Hudson Yards employees and residents, says Mark Maynard, who is leading the project.
Beverage director Nicholas Bennett, also from Porchlight, is in charge of the bar. Classics get geeky craft cocktail adjustments: The martini here is made with cucumber-mint vodka, Lillet Blanc, and dry French vermouth, and the “Hudson high step” — Bennett’s personal favorite — is version of a boilermaker where an olive-garnished bourbon cocktail comes with Madeira wine, an herbal liqueur, and bitters, paired with a glass of lager.
The drink menu is equal parts cocktails, beer, and wine, and nothing is meant to be too complicated, the point being to attract repeat local customers on a weekly basis, Maynard says. The wines were chosen by USHG sommelier John Ragan, and pull from both Old World and New World varieties. Kate Amos, previously with Blue Smoke and Porchlight, was brought on as general manager.
Prices, though, are similar to what one would find in an upscale hotel bar, except here tips are included. See menu and prices below.
Anton Nocito, also from Porchlight, will helm the kitchen. The food menu includes his kind of fancy, kind of nostalgic versions of savory bar snacks like popcorn, olives, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Popcorn is flavored with salt and vinegar, the olives are marinated to taste like a dirty martini, and the sandwich is filled with a four-cheese combo of fontina, Gouda, provolone, and Comté. Lettuce wraps, a beet salad, and a turkey sandwich will also be served, and everything is meant to be shared.
“Ultimately I wanted it to be kind of fun,” Nocito says.
The large 120-seat space is made up of several comfortable-looking couches and lounge chairs, spread about in a Starbucks-like manner. Everything is warmly toned, meant to portray an inviting, living room atmosphere, Maynard says.
The bar was named after Cedric Price, the architect that inspired the design of the Shed, which opened earlier this month within the Bloomberg Building. The center itself was designed by lead architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro and collaborating architect Rockwell Group, the latter of which also designed Cedric’s. It’s a huge nonprofit venue dedicated to commissioning, producing, and presenting original works of art, whether it be live performances — including a current one by composers Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt and painter Gerhard Richter — or showcases of artwork, such as one by artist Trisha Donnelly happening now.
Cedric’s will operate much like the USHG restaurants housed in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. As such, Meyer’s catering company Union Square Events will also be the exclusive caterer for all of the Shed’s events.
Cedric’s opens Wednesday at 11 a.m. It’ll operate from Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to midnight. It’s closed on Mondays.