City Winery opened their new Pier 57 location in NYC last month, and have been hosting socially distanced indoor and outdoor dining, alongside regular "incidental" musical performances, ever since. With coronavirus cases on the rise throughout the city and country, however, it's anyone's guess as to whether the current dining guidelines, which stipulate a 10 PM closure to businesses with a liquor license, will stay in place, or get considerably stricter. City Winery has announced they'll begin trying out a new program to safely accommodate customers while the pandemic continues. Starting on Tuesday (11/24), they'll be requiring that rapid COVID tests be taken by all diners upon arrival. The pilot run of the program will be in effect on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to start, and here's more about it from the venue:

What does this "new normal" look like? The cost of the test will be $50 per diner, and prepaid reservations will be taken via Resy. Upon arrival, guests will participate in our mandatory wellness check, then receive a shallow nasal swab by a certified practitioner, a glass of City Winery Bubbles, and be asked to wait the 10-15 minutes for their results. If the rapid result is negative, the guest will be welcome to enter, mask in place, and continue to practice all proper socially distanced protocols. If positive, City Winery will offer a PCR test sent to a partnered CLIA lab and 24 hours to validate the results, but the individual will not be permitted to enter the premises.

All City Winery employees will also take this test before entering, ensuring that 100% of individuals on the premises have tested negative that day. We will also continue to strictly enforce all of our rigorous health and safety protocols.

On Thursday through Monday, the venue will continue to follow its usual safety protocol, which includes a contactless temperature check and a wellness questionnaire. Find more information about their safety procedures here.

Rapid COVID tests have been somewhat controversial, as they are more prone to false negatives and positives then lab-based PCR tests. Elon Musk recently made headlines after complaining on Twitter about seemingly conflicting results he'd received from a series of rapid tests.

Meanwhile, City Winery is also opening a new pop-up bar/cafe overlooking Rockefeller Rink.

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