NYC-based City Winery Bringing Good Food, Booze and Tunes to The Terminal

The Strip District winery, restaurant and concert venue will have a full-service bar, bottle shop and a dozen wines on tap.


Michael Dorf is a self-confessed wine snob who isn’t afraid to buck traditions surrounding the beverage.

Fifteen years ago, the scrappy entrepreneur opened City Winery, a winery, restaurant and concert venue in New York City. Before diving into the world of vino, he worked as a music promoter for nearly four decades and founded the iconic East Village performance space Knitting Factory in 1986. 

He knows a thing or two about good tunes, food and drinks. City Winery has since grown to include locations in Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Nashville, Tennessee. 

Next month, the curtain will rise on City Winery at The Terminal in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, where big-name acts meet boozy fun. 

The large space will feature more than a dozen house wines on tap. The system was developed by Master Winemaker David Lecomte. 


Once the approachable, ready-to-drink wines are moved from barrels, they are preserved in stainless steel kegs stored in a temperature-controlled environment and sold by the glass. This “green” approach to reds, whites and rosés eliminates the need for bottling, corks or labels and lessens the impact on the environment. 

If sipping Chardonnay isn’t your style, there will be a coffee and espresso bar along with cocktails and local brews.  Aslin Beer Co., another newcomer to Pittsburgh, is located a few doors down in The Terminal. 

City Wines sources grapes from 34 vineyards, so they aren’t tethered to one terroir, the natural environment in which a particular wine is produced. Factors such as soil, topography and climate ultimately affect the taste of the wine.

Dorf says pinot noir grapes come from California’s Russian River Valley and Santa Barbara while a nice Riesling would use fruit from Michigan, New York’s Finger Lakes region and, perhaps soon, Pennsylvania. 

Customers can enjoy a glass in the Barrel Room Restaurant & Wine Bar or the spacious patio. To start, the eatery will serve dinner between 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, with a globally influenced pairing menu focused on small, shareable plates that are meant to complement the different wines. Lunch and also weekend brunch service will come later in the year 

City Winery bottles approximately 10% of its wine, so there will be a retail shop for to-go purchases. Deconstructed wine barrels are used as decoration throughout the venue, giving the large space a unified feel.  


The concert hall includes a balcony and will seat about 250 spectators. The cavernous room can be cleared for standing-room-only events. Show dates are already piling up and include rock, soul, funk, R&B, comedy and drag acts. 

There are rooms available to rent for business meetings, private parties or wine-blending classes hosted by City Winery’s resident experts.


Dorf, who caught the wine-making bug in 2004, did a lot of research on the psychology of concert attendees before he opened City Winery, but, in the end, it’s not all that complicated.

“I wanted to create a cool spot, fill it with wine lovers and give them a good show,” he says. 

Categories: PGHeats