A new wine bar from natural wine champion Eben Lillie may be opening on the Lower East Side. Called Skin Contact, Lillie and his partners Stefanie Djie and Salma Zerrei have applied for a liquor license for the previously vacant space at 76 Orchard St., Bowery Boogie reports.
Lillie has a long history in the business. He started working in his father’s wine store Chambers Street Wines in 2001 when he was in college and went on to open Verre de Terre in the back of Dirty Bird in Chelsea. He still works at Chambers Street Wines, which has been a fixture in the natural wine scene before it was even a scene. Natural wines are made without additives and are growing in popularity, though they’re still a fairly niche sector of the wine industry.
Skin Contact, a name that references a type of wine production where the skins are not removed, has been proposed to Manhattan Community Board 3 as a 38-seat wine bar that will also have beers as well as “finger food,” pastries, and cold cuts according to the community board questionnaire. It’s still in early development stages, so stay tuned for updates.
It would be the latest in a slew of new wine bar openings to hit NYC, including two Brooklyn additions: Bed-Stuy’s Speakvino, which specializes in Mediterranean wines, and Prospect Heights’s new natural wine bar LaLou.