Nectar Wine Bar Closes, Citing the Tough Economy

By Jeff Mays on February 29, 2012 3:10pm 

One of Harlem's first wine bars, Nectar, is closing due to economic difficulties after four years.
One of Harlem's first wine bars, Nectar, is closing due to economic difficulties after four years.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM — One of Harlem's first wine bars, Nectar, is closing due to economic difficulties.

Located at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 121st Street, the venue will close Wednesday evening after four years, according to a note sent to patrons. It will host a "Last Call" from 8 p.m. Wednesday.

"Sadly, the rumors are true. Tomorrow...will be our last day," read a tweet sent from the wine bar's Twitter account on Tuesday.

"Amid tough economic times, however, Nectar Wine Bar has been feeling the pain. Operating expenses and product costs have increased. It is difficult for us to maintain the same quality of wine and food selection to our valued patrons," the letter to patrons said.

The wine bar is located along a corridor of Frederick Douglass Boulevard that has experienced a bar, restaurant and residential housing boom over the past several years. Nectar's end follows the closing of Society Coffee, one of Frederick Douglass Boulevard's pioneer restaurants, which shut in October 2011 after seven years.

Nectar is owned by the same individuals who own Harlem Vintage, the wine shop next door. That business will remain open.

"We are still next door, and we are planning ways to expand the services offered by Harlem Vintage," the letter says.

Nectar and Harlem Vintage co-owner Jai Jai Greenfield was not immediately available for comment.

The wine bar's closure is big a loss to the area, said Sakita Holley, a publicist and editorial director of the Eat in Harlem blog.

"It's sad the full experience is going away. Nectar had a different atmosphere. Harlem has lounges and brunch spots but there was no place for a sophisticated happy hour," Holley said.

The wine bar's closure, due to rising operating costs, is also a sign of how demand is growing for the Frederick Douglass Boulevard corridor, which stretches from 110th to 125th streets. Central Harlem South, where the wine bar is located, experienced an 11 percent increase in population, according to Census data.

"If it says anything about the corridor it's that it's a valuable location because costs are going up," added Holley.

The letter also urged readers to support small businesses.

Nectar,  a wine bar located at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 121st Street, will close this evening after four years, according to a note sent to patrons. "Sadly, the rumors are true,"  read a tweet from the wine bar's Twitter account.
Nectar, a wine bar located at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 121st Street, will close this evening after four years, according to a note sent to patrons. "Sadly, the rumors are true," read a tweet from the wine bar's Twitter account.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

"In the meantime, please continue to support small businesses in the neighborhood, as they are truly the heart of the American economy, and they cannot survive — let alone flourish — without the continual patronage of the Harlem neighborhood," read the letter.

Nectar, located at 2235 Frederick Douglass Blvd., will host a "Last Call" from 8 p.m. to midnight Wednesday, Feb. 29.

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