AIR’S CHAMPAGNE PARLOR OPENS IN GREENWICH VILLAGE
After nearly a decade of hospitality experiences, Ariel Arce is laying down roots in Greenwich Village at her new venture, Air’s Champagne Parlor. The 29-year-old New York native brings to the city a more relaxed and accessible approach to a champagne bar. For instance: an extensive bottle list featuring 125 Champagne and sparkling wines with 50 bottles under $50. Arce is the former Wine Director at Riddling Widow and Birds & Bubbles, which many Manhattanites recall as being one of the city’s most innovative and jolly underground sparkling wine destinations.
“Champagne needs to be demystified,” said Ariel Arce. “It’s not a brand, and it’s not just for celebrations. It’s a wine that’s incredibly gastronomic in addition to being a geographic region and place of origin in France. But, perhaps most importantly, Champagne is experiential with an effervescent personality that defies boundaries and barriers. It brings on the fun!”
Arce’s experience in the world of champagnes and sparkling wines, and the food and beverage industry generally, extends beyond New York to Chicago. For a time, she worked at The Office, a well loved speakeasy beneath the city’s Aviary. She then moved on to Pops of Champagne, America’s oldest champagne bar and the top destination in Chicago for sparkling wines.
“My experience at Pops opened doors for me in Champagne that would have otherwise never been possible for a 23- year old American female,” she said. “I’ve been so lucky by how warm and embracing the region has been to me. I’m a student and a groupie!”
Now Arce is her own boss. Air’s Champagne Parlor, which opened at the end of June and is run by an all-female team, is her first try at applying her love for and experience in the champagne and sparkling wine business. It’s not a speakeasy, but her new champagne parlor is an eclectic and cozy proposal and a strong counter to the old Lady Bird space. Funk, jazz, blues, Motown and disco music play throughout the Art Deco inspired room and bar area. The menu compliments the wine and has more to do with celebration and sharing snacks than a formal three course experience. Think Hamachi tartare and tuna conserve poached in olive oil with fennel salad and bitter greens. Arce offers tiers of caviar (roe, grinnell, and sturgeon), and of course, oysters by the half dozen. Seating is limited, but your best best for securing a seat is to get there before the happy hour crowd descends.
Air’s Champagne Parlor | 127 Macdougal Street, New York, NY 10012 | 212-420-4777
Open Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 5:00pm-12:00am, Thursday – Saturday, 5:00pm-1:00am.
Words by Rocky Casale
Photo courtesy of Eater NY