- December 22, 2020
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Business
City Winery, a popular and sprawling Manhattan wine and music venue, is offering free COVID-19 tests to customers who buy a case of wine.
Depending on results, consumers can then choose to pop open a bottle in celebration — or to drown out their sorrows.
The promotion may sound gimmicky, but its been helping drive sales since last Friday and Saturday when some 50 people bought a case and got a free coronavirus test, said City Winery founder and Chief Executive Michael Dorf.
“I think I definitely sold more wine than I ordinarily would have on a weekend,” Dorf said.
The promotion kicked off in a different form about six weeks ago when City Winery offered $50 rapid tests to anyone who wanted to dine and drink inside the venue on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It attracted nearly 1,000 customers.
But indoor dining was shut down again earlier this month as coronavirus cases spiked across the nation.
The tests, administered by a healthcare professional, cost the restaurant and retailer $500 a day, which is why its limiting them to one per purchase.
“We had some people come in as couples and with their families who all wanted to be tested,” Dorf told The Post.
Anyone else can still pay $50 for the test, which Dorf said goes to the lab providing the kits.
City Winery will be offering the test with the purchase of a case of wine on Dec. 21-22 and again next week on Dec. 28-29 before New Year’s Eve festivities.
City Winery singed a deal with Accurex Diagnostic Services, which is administering and providing the rapid tests — which take up to 15 minutes for the results.
Accurex, which is working with five hedge funds and a law firm providing weekly testing to their employees, had been in discussions with three other restaurants when the indoor dining ban went into effect this month, said CEO David Reese.
“We were not up and running fast enough during the summer to have people understand this,” Reese told The Post. “I believe there is a responsible way to dine indoors with testing, even though it’s expensive.”