Located at 295 Grand Street, the 40-seat spot will focus primarily on natural wines — which, for the most part, are allowed to ferment with little chemical or human interference — while offering a small selection of food. The menu was created by Nick Curtola, a veteran of famed Brooklyn pizza spot Franny’s.
While Murphy has grown into a discerning foodie over the years, wine is a comparatively new interest. The producer specifically traces his love back to a bottle of Frank Cornelissen MunJebel Bianco No. 3, a Sicilian orange wine his friend (and Four Horsemen consultant) Justin Chearno introduced to him in 2008.
Four Horsemen will open with about 160 different wines, with plans to eventually offer 350. And while the selection will be adventurous, Murphy promised traditional selections as well. “We’re not dogmatic,” he told the Times. “Like, we don’t want to be part of an argument. If I opened a record store, it wouldn’t be all punk rock and esoterica.”
Ever the audiophile, Murphy also diligently worked on the Four Horsemen’s acoustics. Outfitting walls and ceiling with a mix of burlap, cedar slats and sound-absorption panels, Murphy eliminated the room’s cavernous echo so that patrons could talk at a reasonable volume and cadence.
While Murphy is far from the first musician to add restaurateur to their résumé — recent collaborators Arcade Fire just announced a Haitian restaurant in Montreal — he recognizes the difficulties and potential pitfalls of opening a restaurant, especially in New York City. When one chef suggested he document the process of opening the bar online, Murphy jokingly said he considered calling the journal, “the Worst Idea Ever.”
“We keep calling it a wine bar because we want to underpromise and overdeliver,” Murphy said. “It has to be economically sustainable. It’s not a vanity project.”
Amidst opening the Four Horsemen, Murphy has remained busy with music. Last year, he remixed a tennis match and continued to work on a proposal to turn the jarring sounds of New York City subway turnstiles into something more musical. He also composed the score for Noah Baumbach’s latest film, While We’re Young.