An Early Look Inside Wassail Cider Bar, Opening on Orchard Street Next Week

Posted on: March 20th, 2015 at 5:00 am by
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If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then Wassail should have no problem filling its seats. Especially with all the hype circulating the neighborhood.

Anticipation has been building on upper Orchard Street for the arrival of Wassail, hailed as the first cider-dedicated bar in the Five Boroughs. The establishment – helmed by the husband-wife team behind Queens Kickshaw in Astoria – is mere days from opening in the old Todd’s Mill space. And the foodie community is going gangbusters.

While the menu remains a mystery, we do know that the food will be vegetarian and “cider-focused.” The beverage list boasts an international variety of 80-100 different ciders served both via draught and by-the-glass.

Also, earlier this month, branded awnings were installed and the window paper partially removed to reveal the interior. We are told that Wassail is holding opening preview parties on Monday, and should debut the following day (March 24). Here is a sneak peek…

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Its application sailed through Community Board 3 effortlessly, and rubber stamped by the State Liquor Authority last week. The full liquor license was apparently required for certain drinks only (and for higher ABV).

For Sandler and Lim, the choice to open on the Lower East Side offered the distinct opportunity for a homecoming. The couple told Eater last month:

Since it’s the first cider bar in New York, we wanted it to be iconic in some way, and really relate to the neighborhood. We started with the places that we related to really well, because a business is an expression of who you are. Jen and I, when we first moved to the city in 2005, lived about five blocks away from here. It was the first neighborhood we lived in in New York.

Our partner, Sabine, has also lived in the LES. So we all felt a strong, personal connection to this neighborhood more than any other. That was a big factor. You also have to look at where a place like this will be successful — things like foot traffic, hotels, and density of residents all have to be considered. The good thing about the LES is that all of New York passes through this neighborhood at some point.

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