Openings

At NYC’s Newest Wine Destination, Everything Is on Tap All the Time

Lois features 15 different draft wines. Photo: Michael J. Groth

One thing conspicuously absent at Lois, the sleek new wine bar that just opened in the East Village: wine bottles. That’s because all 15 selections, culled from California to Crete, are served on tap, an increasingly common practice that sommeliers say makes wine more accessible and less expensive. The gas preservation system ensures consistent quality over time; dispensing with bottles, labels, and corks keeps costs down; and reusable kegs are more environmentally sustainable. There’s also, it should be said, the novelty factor: Although tap wine’s been slowly trickling into the New York restaurant and bar scene over the last five years, there’s still something cool about seeing a neat row of spigots dispensing everything from the Scholium Project’s latest experiment to a manzanilla sherry distributed by tap-wine pioneer Gotham Project. (Lois isn’t entirely alone; Pocket Bar in Hell’s Kitchen is tap-only, too, though on a much smaller scale.)

Lois is the brainchild of Nora O’Malley and Phoebe Connell — the managers, respectively, of Alphabet City Wine Co. and Alphabet City Beer Co., the two businesses that bookend the new bar. (David Hitchner, the owner of both shops, is also a partner.) Connell puts her food-studies and cheesemonger background to use with a small-plates menu of dishes like a French-onion-style ribollita, capped with Cabot clothbound Cheddar. But wine is the highlight, and it’s served in four sizes, from a 100-ml. taste to a group-friendly 1,000-ml. carafe. Here’s a look at what’s currently on tap:

98 Ave. C, nr. 7th St.; 212-475-1400

Manhattan’s New Tap-Wine Specialists