First Taste: A look inside City Winery Boston’s grand opening



Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

When tasting a fine wine, the aging process is often discussed. When opening a live music venue in the Boston area, the same rules generally apply.

Nearly a year in the making, City Winery Boston finally opened its doors last night (November 20), and needless to say, plenty of of cork-popping was in order.

“I’m very sorry it took us so long — we had no idea how hard it was going to be,” City Winery founder Michael Dorf told the assembled crowd during a mini-speech from the larger of the venue’s two stages, shiny new wine glasses in hand. “But as you can see, we’re almost finished. Our first show is tomorrow.”

Located at 1 Canal Street in the Bullfinch Triangle just outside North Station, Boston is the fifth location for the City Winery chain, with other spots in Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, and New York.

Tonight (November 21), Doyle Bramhall II will be the first musician to perform at the venue, while Boston folk artist Melissa Ferrick takes the stage on Friday (November 25). Other area musicians slated to play at the winery this year include Johnny A. and Quinn Sullivan.

“We sold a lot of tickets already that we had to return, so we know there’s a lot of excitement,” Dorf added, referencing the fact that previously scheduled shows — including Frank Turner, Eilen Jewell, and Suzanne Vega — had to be cancelled when the winery’s opening was pushed back due to construction delays.

According to Dorf, all shows at the Winery will be seated, but many of the tables and seating had been removed for the grand opening festivities. Inside, the Winery offers two performance spaces: One larger function-room-esque area, with a capacity of around 300, and a smaller stage and alcove more reminiscent of a cozy jazz club.The entrance of the winery brings visitors to the bar and restaurant area; to the right, the larger performance space can be accessed through a small hallway, and to the far left is the second, more intimate space. And of course, both areas include their own bar.

A small art gallery circles the left of the winery, currently filled with paintings by late local artist Henry Schwartz of Winthrop.

Flip through our first-look gallery below to get a better glance at Boston’s newest venue.

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