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City Winery Drums Up Business With COVID-19 Test Promotions

Plus, LES stalwart Classic Coffee Shop closes its doors for good — and more intel

A building on a pier with outdoor dining set up and an NYC building skyline in the background
City Winery at Pier 57
City Winery/Adam Pass [Official]
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

City Winery launches new COVID-19 holiday promotion

City Winery has been investing in a string of COVID-19 promotions at its new, massive flagship in Chelsea. In the fall, after the 32,000-square-foot space debuted at Pier 57, City Winery offered $50 rapid COVID-19 tests to indoor dining customers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Now that indoor dining has been banned in NYC, the company has turned to offering a free COVID-19 test with the purchase of a case of wine as a holiday promotion.

In the first weekend of the promotion, about 50 people bought cases of wine and got a free test, City Winery founder and CEO Michael Dorf tells the New York Post. The previous promotion was also quite successful: Nearly 1,000 people came to the venue on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a rapid test before dining inside, Dorf says.

The logistics of offering on-site COVID-19 testing is not cheap — it costs City Winery about $500 a day, according to the Post — but Dorf believes that the feature has been drawing in more customers. The company that facilitates the tests, Accurex Diagnostic Services, had been in discussions to provide similar services to three other area restaurants, the Post reports, but the indoor dining ban put everything on hold.

In other news

— Classic Coffee Shop, a snug cafe that has been operating for over 40 years on the Lower East Side, is permanently shutting down. Owner Carmine Morales tells Bowery Boogie that the pandemic has not been kind to the business but, overall, Morales was simply ready to retire.

— Puerto Rican hot spot Que Chevere at LES food hall the Market Line has extended the deadline for its holiday meal pre-orders through the end of the day today. Stock up on spiced mofongo pies, pasteles, and pernil or pollo holiday dinners, available for pickup from the restaurant on Christmas Eve.

— Actor Will Smith highlighted Patrick Mock of Manhattan Chinatown bakery 46 Mott on Smith’s Snapchat show, Will From Home, this week.

— Industry group ROAR has partnered with Summerlong Wine Company to launch Summerlong Supper Club, a new subscription program to help raise money for 16 NYC restaurants through the winter. Customers can pay $800 up front for 16 weeks of fine dining takeout meals starting January 12 from hot spots including Llama Inn, Adda, Atomix and Atoboy, and more. The program aims to raise $120,000 for each participating restaurant.

— Over 30 NYC restaurants including Ras Plant Based in Crown Heights and Miss Ada in Clinton Hill have received $10,000 winterization grants from the Grubhub-sponsored Restaurant Strong Fund.

— Italian restaurant Avena Downtown has launched a Christmas-themed pop-up at its Greenwich Village space called Emporio del Panettone. The pop-up, which runs through December 28, features panettone tastings with a variety of beverage pairings that cost between $25 to $125 per person. Reservations for the tastings can be made by calling 917-215-4440 or booking online via the pop-up’s website.

— ‘Tis the season: