Morrell And The Annals Of New York City Wine Bars

by Ross Kenneth Urken · January 4, 2011

Before there was the Bourgeois Pig and Gottino--with hip sommeliers and aromatic degustations--Morrell Wine Bar & Cafe pioneered the concept in New York. Can it be that just over a decade ago a by-the-glass wine specialty joint had not landed a foothold here?

As The Feast reports, Edible Manhattan's Winter 2011 just hit newsstands and contains a history of Morrell. The inoteca opened twelve years ago and cleared a path for the bevy of similar establishments so popular in the city these days.

Naturally, Le Bateau Ivre, opened in 1999, had billed itself as the "first true French wine bar," but nothing like the egalitarian, simplified pleasures found in Morrell existed.

The parents of wine bar co-founders Peter and Roberta Morrell opened a liquor store in 1947 on the corner of 49th St. near the Waldorf Astoria.

For a further glance at the fascinating history of city oenological pleasures, check out the piece here.