The Riddler, the all-women funded Champagne Bar created by Jen Pelka, will open the doors to its second location this September in the heart of the West Village at the corner of West 4th and Bank. The Riddler’s wine list will feature over 100 Champagnes by the bottle including a deep library of reserve Champagnes, vintage wines, an extensive selection of Special Club Champagnes, and rare finds made by the very best grower-producers. The beverage menu will also feature a section dedicated to sparkling wines, still wines and one beer — Miller High Life, “The Champagne of Beers.” The Riddler’s menu will play on the brand’s high-low approach with Jen’s favorite Champagne and food pairings, including an extensive raw bar, fresh takes on French classics, and The Riddler’s signature tater tot waffles.
As with the San Francisco location, The Riddler in New York is 100% funded by women. Across both locations, investors include Ruth Reichl (former editor-in-chief of Gourmet), Kerry Diamond (editor-in-chief of Cherry Bombe), and young CEOs including Shan Lyn-Ma (Founder & CEO of Zola), and Krystle Mobayeni (Founder & CEO of BentoBox). “I am so grateful to have an incredible community of investors who have helped me to create a truly special place at my favorite corner of the West Village. We all have a shared vision to spread the love of Champagne far and wide and to create the best Champagne bar in the country. We’re looking to create a place that is both a neighborhood hangout and a wine-lover’s destination.”
The design and aesthetic of The Riddler’s New York City location has been led by the women-led team at ROY, a San Francisco-based hospitality design studio and those behind the design of The Riddler in San Francisco. Richard Lewis, the man responsible for countless restaurants in New York including Bar Pisellino and the revival of Pastis, is the Architect of Record. The wooden back-bar and café tables handmade in France will be reminiscent of the original West Coast location centered around a beautiful raw bar as the focal point of The Riddler in New York City and surrounded by custom-made banquettes. Antique serviceware sourced by Jen herself over years of thrifting around the world will include a variety of champagne buckets uniquely hand-picked for each guest who visits The Riddler.
“When we started working with Jen on this project we knew each and every moment, interaction, material and finish had to feel uniquely distinctive and yet warmly familiar all at once! We wanted to pay homage to a classic Parisian bistro while also creating a space that felt elevated, fresh and exciting,” said Hannah Collins, Principal Designer & Founder of ROY. “We focused on grounding the design with historic architectural references like the curved wall, arched doorways and stately moulding details, while introducing modern feminine shapes and nuances. Honestly, the whole space is a delicate jewel box of wow moments.”
The Riddler’s first location in San Francisco was named “Wine Bar of the Year” by EaterSF, “Best Concept” by StarChefs, and a winner of a Wine Spectator “Grand Award.” The Riddler’s New York location will open in September 2019 at 51 Bank Street in the West Village at the corner of Bank and W. 4th Streets.