An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Oct 30, 2013
06:38 PMThe Connecticut Table
Wine On9 Event Will Show Off New Haven's Ninth Square District
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The Ninth Square District in New Haven was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. That history is surely a drawing card, but there were periods between the 80s and now when the area, in the southeast section of the downtown, was more challenged than charming.
Today, according to the On9 website, Ninth Square—or 9th Square—is “a hub of chic dining, eclectic shops, art galleries, jazz clubs, and architecture studios [that] mixes with an active nightclub scene. Gateway Community College, with its 7,000+ students, recently relocated to its new campus in the 9th Square neighborhood,” which is “anchored by 360 State, the 32-story, $190 million mixed-use project, which has added 500 new luxury apartments and a full service grocery store, [meaning] the district is transforming into an über-hip dwelling for young professionals.”
Hopeful marketing hyperbole?
Nope; just the opposite.
Ninth Square is everything that its marketing and development team says it is. Just ask the subject of another Ninth Square story, Orange Street entrepreneur and fashion designer Neville Wisdom, or the folks at Reynolds Fine Art, which has an opening coinciding with WineOn9, or at The Wine Thief and other businesses in the district.
Better yet, discover all that Ninth Square has to offer in a special First Friday event Nov. 1 that will put out a warm welcome mat at 16 prime venues in the district. In Wine On9, running from 6 to 8 p.m., participating businesses will be serving wine selected by The Wine Thief, while participating restaurants will be offering tastings from their own wine lists.
In the process of enjoying some fine wines—and, knowing The Wine Thief, making some happy discoveries—you’ll also get a generous taste of what Ninth Square has to offer, setting the stage to come back and explore further.
Don’t hesitate on this opportunity. There is only room for 250 participants and more than half the tickets have already sold, the website says. So purchase your tickets, which cost $15 in advance and include a special Wine On9 glass for tastings at the participating businesses in the Ninth Square. Event check-in will be at 71 Orange Street, the former location of The Grove. There, guests will receive the wine glass, a wrist band, and a map of all the participating venues. Guests must be 21 or older, and a valid ID is needed at check in.
Then you can visit all the wine venues in any order you choose, and the organizers suggest ending the tour at The Wine Thief, located at 181 Crown Street, for a final tasting and opportunity to purchase wines that you have enjoyed.
Participating businesses include:
Meat & Company - 118 Crown Street
Inspired Turkey – 82 Crown Street
Capture – 100 Crown Street
Thali – 4 Orange Street
Graffio Jewelers – 28 Orange Street
NW Boutique – 63 Orange Street
Palmeria Brasil – 56 Orange Street
Bentara – 76 Orange Street
Giampietro Gallery – 91 Orange Street
Arpaia Lang – 806 Chapel Street
English Building Market – 839 Chapel Street
817 Chapel – upstairs
Project Storefronts – 756 Chapel Street
Elm City Market – 777 Chapel Street
Sweet Mary’s – 129 Court Street
Michael’s Downtown – 130 Court Street
Meanwhile, for more context on Ninth Square and its ascendance, we turned to Christina M. Ortwein, manager of the Economic Prosperity Initiative, which was launched in 2011 by the Town Green Special Services District, a business improvement district funded by a surtax on property in downtown New Haven.