By Roger Paradiso
Jon grew up in Arizona and has been in NYC for a little over 15 years. “My original passion was music, and I am a classically trained violist, but I had to abandon music after breaking my hand.
“My business partner and I saw an opportunity with wine that was the impetus behind our opening of Temperance, a wine bar on Carmine Street.”
I asked Jon, what made you want to start your wine bar?
“Wine can be intimidating. It doesn’t need to be. By offering all our wines by the glass, we hopefully make wine more approachable and fun and give people the opportunity to explore and learn and remove barriers that have been erected in the wine industry.”
What interested you in opening a wine bar in the West Village?
“The West Village fits Temperance’s personality. It is refined, but not fussy. it is a little mysterious but also welcoming. Our block is a microcosm of everything that is great about NYC. Small shops full of cool things. Art, music, comedy, food, etc. there aren’t many parts of the city that feel like neighborhoods anymore. We are lucky to be in a spot where we know our neighbors and feel lucky that we do.”
What’s your feeling about the neighborhood on Carmine Street?
“The thing I didn’t expect about the neighborhood was just how warm and welcoming it was. People like Jim Drougas, who ran the bookstore next door, was immediately open and warm and welcoming. He just had to close his store because his landlord wanted to renovate the building and people like him are tough to replace. That’s the thing about places that you love, they start changing and sometimes they start to lose some of the things that you loved about them.”
What do you know of the history of the West Village?
“The West Village has always been an engine for positive change and evolution with regard to all the important stuff: civil rights, poetry, music, comedy, food, and architecture.”
Some residents are concerned about restaurants continuing to use sheds to help their business. What are your thoughts?
“We don’t personally have a shed. The restaurant owners I know with sheds are aware of residents’ concerns and are willing to work to eliminate the issues that are causing the concerns… and there are legitimate concerns there. However, it’s also clear that the patrons—who are New Yorkers as well—find value in them.
A large percentage of the city’s workers are in the hospitality industry. Negative impacts to restaurants affect a lot of people.”
What are your dreams FOR the wine bar?
“We would love to expand and provide our award-winning wine list to other people in the city. We can’t have live music at Temperance, but we offer wine and food education classes.”
Best Wishes to Temperance during the holiday season. We hope Jon’s dreams come true.
Temperance Wine Bar
40 Carmine Street off Bleecker Street
Photos Photo courtesy of Temperance Wine Bar and Roger Paradiso.