West Side wine lovers can raise a glass at the opening of The Red Stache tonight (Thursday) — the newest Hell’s Kitchen hospitality venture from proprietors Ted Arenas and Shaun Dunn. 

Ted Arenas and Shaun Dunn at The Red Stache
Ted Arenas and Shaun Dunn at The Red Stache before opening night. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The W52nd Street wine bar — one of several new watering holes on the busy block — will serve a wide-ranging selection of vino, curated by Shaun, a former bartender at the late luxury hotel The NoMad. The 80 to 90 bottle list is “all over the place,” said Shaun, who told W42ST that he’s built a beverage program with both Old World and more contemporary wines from vineyards in Oregon and Washington. “Everything’s at different price points,” said Shaun. “There are entry-level wines for people who just want to have a casual glass of wine after work, and if we have people come in who want to be more of a big spender, we have some hidden gems in there too.” The Red Stache will also serve wine-based cocktails with homemade purees in combinations that Shaun declared would be pleasing and “familiar” to new patrons. 

As for food, “the primary menu is kind of designed around things you want to eat with wine,” added Shaun. In addition to entree items like a housemade mac and cheese, pork belly sandwiches and French dip, the menu will feature “a lot of meat and charcuterie, a lot of cold appetizers and easy finger food,” said Shaun, noting the addition of a hummus plate as well as housemade bread with herb-infused butter and spices. 

The Red Stache was born of a long-running collaboration between Shaun and Ted, who also operates popular Hell’s Kitchen LGBTQ bars Rise and The Spot. “Shaun’s been working with me for I don’t know how many years,” Ted told W42ST. “We started talking about opening up a wine bar — because I wanted to do something that was more inclusive of everybody, not just the LGBTQ community,” he added. “Shaun has a background in food and he was passionate about doing it, so we decided that we would do a wine bar.”

The new bar takes over the space that previously housed wine and cheese specialty cafe Casellula, which closed in February after its new ownership terminated the staff. Casellula workers protested against the actions of Vin Sur Vingt, petitioned the Community Board and set up a #SaveCasellula campaign on social media, without success.

The Red Stache
The Red Stache ready for opening night. Photo supplied.

As for bringing in new patrons, “I think that the followers that we have at Rise and Spot,” will be willing to try The Red Stache, said Ted, adding: “Some of the more sophisticated and older clientele we have that don’t necessarily want to be around the younger people want to be in a quieter atmosphere and have a conversation at more of a date night spot.” He also hopes that an additional client base will come from Spot and Rise’s many drag brunchers who will look to The Red Stache for their evening plans. “We also have a lot of people coming that work in corporate jobs that have been booking parties at Rise and Spot, who don’t necessarily want to be going out for nightlife but are more looking for a date night type of place that they’d want to go to,”  added Ted.

For other Hell’s Kitchen wine enthusiasts, The Red Stache’s later closing hours could usher in a new chapter for those desperately looking for an after-theater late-night bite, added Ted. “If we can keep the tradition of people coming in after theater here — which I think is in line with what a lot of wine bars get — I’m sure that we’ll also get that crowd as well!” 

The Red Stache F&F night
The Red Stache getting ready for opening last night with a “friends and family” evening. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The Red Stache is located at 401 W52nd Street (between 9/10th Avenue) and will be open from 4pm to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, until 1am on Thursday and 2am on Friday and Saturday. 

Join the Conversation


  1. I sure hope the new owners are being truthful about the quiet atmosphere they want for the bar. The owner of Rise said the same thing about that bar when he came to the block association for support and Rise is anything but a quiet place to have a drink. I also hope this guys don’t have anything to do with the firing of the staff of Casallula when that owner left for a new career. That was a sad, ugly affair.

    1. Lori,
      I couldn’t help but to comment because there’s so many untruths in your comment. 9 years ago when I opened rise we went to block associations and we’re truthful about having a dj, karaoke and drag shows. All which are not quite. What we said is that it would not be an issue with neighbors with the right soundproofing, which we did. 2 years ago we expanded with both the block association and cb4 which state no noise issues. Our happy hours at rise are pretty tame and not loud but you’d have to go to see for yourself to know that. So not sure why youre implying that this new wine bar would be loud considering rise is actually respectful to the community and neighbors. For the red stache – Considering you see how small the speakers are in the pic and there’s no dj not sure it’s possible to imply it’s going to be loud is even probable with doing minimum research. Anyways hope that clarified any mis- information you have gotten. On a final note the employee issue that happened at the space with the pervious tenant is no connection to us. Thst all happened in 2022. We rented the siace in 2023

  2. Casellula was quite the special place with unique and thoughtful wines, an unbelievable curation of cheese, wonderful, passionate, competent staff and a soothingly inclusive atmosphere. It’s a shame that the Caselulla staff was not able to reclaim the business as the neighborhood is sorely lacking in it’s loss. Nothing will ever compare to that era and all it brought to NYC.

    I guess another wine bar similar to Vanguard, Ardesia and Wine Escape is fine. At least you can grab a glass post show and now it’s time to let go.

  3. Stopped by the other night for a glass with a friend and met Shaun- I too was a big fan of Casellula and couldn’t help but reminisce all the good times and wine there. The place looks great and a good vibe. I will definitely be back and spread the word. Best of luck!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *