Wine, Yankees and Mood Bush at Bowery Wine Company

Bowery Wine Company - Blue Bush

Bowery Wine Company – Blue Bush

At long last, I have darkened the door of the Bruce Willis’ Bowery Wine Company (BWC) on East 1st St. Now, the scoop.

Unlike other wine bars in the area, BWC is less intimate and less focused on wine. But a bottle of wine is cheap – $24 for a bottle of Australian Shiraz. So, let the games begin.


A little after 7 p.m., the East Village Podcasts blog editorial team entered with wine connoisseur in tow. We seated ourselves at one of the little tables across from the bar and were promptly met by the first of a steady stream of Bowery Wine Company employees.

They certainly try hard at BWC and I get the feeling everyone working there is new to the world of table-side customer service. After a couple of awkward interactions with the eager staff, we placed our order for the aforementioned Shiraz and the obligatory bruschetta.

Bowery Wine Company - Green Bush

Bowery Wine Company – Green Bush

BWC feels like an upper west side transplant with its wide-open, gymnasium-like space and track lighting. I’d say loft-like.. but the whole Avalon Place structure reminds me of a new development from the suburbs – spotless and well-fireproofed. Surely, there must be a few doctor’s offices nearby.

Of all the accouterments in BWC, the most unique winebar offering is the television. Yes, television. Sure.. Bar Veloce has a TV but it plays only old black-and-white, Italian movies to which no one pays attention. BWC’s television tunes in to sports and, on this night, it was the New York Yankees-Tampa Bay Devil Rays game. Rays beat the Yanks, 13-4.

In its sports affinity, BWC is akin to the unruly sports bar, Bounce Deuce, on Second Avenue and 6th Street, except more reserved and mature. Is it the wine? Wine=Maturity? Doubtful.

As I looked around at my fellow patrons, most were not drinking wine. I saw mixed drinks, beer, even champagne. Is this a winebar or a sports bar? Likely the latter and once they fix (or turn on) the other T.V., the chicken wings should begin flowing from the kitchen.

Once our wine was unscrewed – Australia ran out of cork – we proceeded to sip Shiraz while nibbling the bruschetta which was straightforward in execution and overloaded with cheese on one of the tiny bruschetta.

Bowery Wine Company - Red Bush

Bowery Wine Company – Red Bush

Chris Sileo, owner of the BWC, and friend to the stars according to the NY Post, came over and introduced himself. And then he moved our table six feet to accomodate patrons sitting behind us. It was nice to meet him. I was moved.

Another BWC original is the “mood bush” featured here in its digital glory, thanks to my trusty Apple iPhone. The mood bush made me sad, happy, indifferent, passive-aggressive – all in the space of a minute and a half. .

I could tell you about the crostini and dips we ordered next, but it was boring.

If there is a next visit to BWC, I’m ordering a beer and watching the game.

Bowery Wine Company - Magenta Bush

Bowery Wine Company – Magenta Bush


April 5th, 2008

Entry Filed under: Drink


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