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Top New York Wine Restaurant Veritas Closes—For Now

Lease proved too expensive for small Grand Award winner; owners looking for better space

Gillian Sciaretta
Posted: November 5, 2013

Veritas, a New York City mecca for enophiles and a Wine Spectator Grand Award winner since 2000, has closed. The owners hope to find a new space with better lease terms than its Flatiron neighborhood home.

Best known for its 75,000-bottle wine cellar and 3,000-selection wine list, the 46-seat restaurant was unable to meet the high-rent demands of its landlord despite its continuous success. "It's a real shame,” chef and partner Sam Hazen told Wine Spectator. “We were doing really well, but because of the size of the restaurant we were not able to meet the high, fixed-cost structure."

Veritas made its debut on the New York dining scene in 1999 with a 1,300-selection wine list. A year later the wine list had grown to 1,475 selections, and Veritas was awarded the prestigious Grand Award, a title it has maintained. The extensive wine cellar included bottles purchased from the private cellars of two founding partners, Park Smith and Steve Verlin. As a result, wine buffs from near and far were drawn to Veritas for highly sought-after selections from Bordeaux, Burgundy, California and the Rhône Valley.

Looking forward, Hazen believes this is not the last we have seen of Veritas. Hazen and Smith are interested in finding a space, preferably in Manhattan, that can better accommodate the restaurant and its cellar.

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