East Village restaurant Claud, considered one of the city’s top wine bars, opened by Momofuku Ko vets, is pivoting to become a bakery — at least for now. The restaurant, which was operating with a temporary liquor license since its opening in 2022, which the restaurant applied for a monthly basis, had its liquor license application declined by the State Liquor Authority.
“For the moment, it has forced our hand. While we work to sort it all out as quickly as possible, we’re going to transition Claud into a daytime bakery,” an Instagram posted to the Claud account stated today, July 24. “We couldn’t be more keen to work with the SLA to get this matter resolved as quickly as possible, so we can continue to be able to employ our staff and serve our guests,” said co-owner Chase Sinzer, in a statement to Eater, adding that there’s still possibility for them to return to serving wine once the application is approved. Eater has contacted Community Board 3 and the State Liquor Authority for comment.
Operating with a temporary liquor license is a common move in the restaurant industry, especially in a city like New York, where getting liquor licenses approved by the SLA can sometimes take upwards of a year. In fact, in 2021, a law was approved by the city to help expedite the process, granting temporary permits.
It’s unusual for a restaurant known for, ahem, wine — opened by Momofuku Ko vets, Sinzer, a sommelier, and chef Joshua Pinsky — to have to stop serving the very drink that’s been spearheading accolades for the restaurant. The reason for Claud’s application disapproval was not immediately clear.
Claud has also been celebrated for its shrimp sizzling in its own juices as well as its chocolate cake, among other staple dishes. That year, Eater named it “best wine bar” in the Eater Awards. In 2022, Pete Wells at the New York Times gave the restaurant three stars.
Earlier this year, the restaurant hosted a pop-up for Radio Bakery, from the Rolo’s team, as it geared up for launch. Eater has reached out for more information about how the daytime Claud will function.