City Winery launched a pilot program for administering rapid COVID tests to diners back in November, before live music resumed at the venue. They've been hosting shows since April, and they've now announced that as of today (8/2), they'll be requiring proof of vaccine, or a negative COVID test result in the last 72 hours, at all of their locations. They're also requiring that masks be worn "while moving through indoor spaces."

Founder and CEO Michael Dorf writes:

Dear City Winery Friends and Family,

In these very challenging times of reopening, we are carefully balancing the safety of our customers, staff and performing artists with the issues of privacy and freedom which we in our democracy cherish. Our number one mission is to create a safe, comfortable, and ideal setting for our dining guests, our artists and those attending live performances of music, comedy, or any art on our stage. We care about the lighting, the air-conditioning, the sightlines, the exits for egress, the fire suppression systems, the quality of the food, the service; everything that goes into making the customer experience as magical as possible. We want people to feel comfortable.

At this stage in the pandemic, with the Delta variant on the rise, the remarkable roll-out of vaccines, and the overwhelming numbers of our customers now fully inoculated against COVID-19, we can create an environment that is as safe as possible moving forward. Our recent July survey indicated that more than 75% of our patrons are already vaccinated. This is very good news.

Given this, our decision to move forward with creating an environment where we request that all patrons are vaccinated, and wear masks when moving indoors, will allow even more psychological comfort that our facility is as safe a place to be as possible. Of course, we respect that if a person does not want to get vaccinated for any reason, be it religious, health or other, they can get tested showing a negative result within 72 hours to gain admission. All guests are welcome on our outdoor patios, however masks will be required when entering the building.

We will be trying to make it as easy, seamless, and friction-free as possible. You may present a physical or smartphone copy of your vaccine card. In New York, we accept the Excelsior Pass. Hopefully, this temporary system will facilitate the end of this pandemic and horrible bit of history for our world. It has been devastating for so many, including us in the live performance world. Accommodating this policy, leaving all politics out of it, will allow artists to earn a living again, our staff to be employed, and the arts to have a place in our society again. Your cooperation will help us to not go back to limited capacity or worse, that tragic state of closing our facilities again.

Thank you,
Michael Dorf & City Winery

Find more information on City Winery's safety page.