Wassail Cider Bar Closes Down After Less Than 3 Years on Orchard Street

Wassail, considered the first cider-centric bar in New York City, folded before the turn of the New Year. Its final day on Orchard Street was this past Saturday night (December 30), a few months shy of the third anniversary.

Ownership took to Facebook for the announcement, noting with a somber quip that “it will be a lifetime of self-reflection for us to determine what we could have done differently to achieve sustainability.”

Here’s more from the release:

We opened Wassail in spring of 2015 with the goal of sharing a beautiful thing that we love, made by people we admire immensely. We wanted to open peoples’ minds with the range of cider to be had, and to bring fine cider into the mainstream.

It was New York City’s first dedicated cider bar, serving fine vegetarian fare in the Lower East Side. What could be more unconventional and ambitious?

We are immensely proud of what we were able to accomplish in our period of focus. It will be a lifetime of self-reflection for us to determine what we could have done differently to achieve sustainability; Wassail’s last day was December 30, 2017.

It has been our honor and privilege to have met so many of you, and to have shared our excitement with you.

To say that the closure is surprising wouldn’t be completely accurate. Indeed, there was a steady string of real estate listings and suitors vying for the space within the last year. All while business operated as usual for Wassail. Though, none took to it. Allain Allegretti pitched Frenchie’s Fish Bar last January; Michael Aurbach of No Fun proposed a fifteen-table “New American” bar last July; then an unknown entity appeared on the November docket for consideration, but withdrew.

It was Kickshaw proprietors Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim who opened Wassail at 162 Orchard in March 2015. It took the reins from Todd’s Mill, which itself struggled through the previous two years.