When the last industrially zoned spot in Soho was rezoned to accommodate commercial uses, the new Obivia bar and lounge found a home. Located on the corner of Lafayette and Kenmare, Obivia is an elegant lounge, with the cozy ambiance of an old friend’s living room. Comfortable couches and low tables invite you to relax and exchange New York City stories while sipping drinks into the night. A warm amber glow is cast everywhere from beautiful antique lighting fixtures. The music is funky and ranges from George Clinton to rhythm and blues to late night jazz. Five plasma screen televisions are displayed, each playing its own B movie, like constantly changing works of art.
Obivia is the creation of Michael Matzo and Craig Skiptunis, partners who first met while working together at a wine bar in the Wall Street area. Matzo was the bartender and Skiptunis, the manager. They vowed to collaborate one day and create the perfect lounge bar. Obivia is the result of their collaboration, using Matzo’s edgy sense of style from his years at FIT and Skiptunis’ savvy restaurant knowledge from his education at the Culinary Institute of America and his experience running his own successful restaurant, Bistro Ten 18 on the Upper West Side, known for its award winning wine list. Their popular new lounge, Obivia, is the perfect spot for relaxing, talking, drinking and listening to music in the fashionable Soho neighborhood.
Innovative Liquor Choices
New drinks have been launched, concoctions that appeal to anyone with a taste for the unusual like the Fireball Martini with cinnamon schnapps and vodka. Old favorites are also served like the Old Fashioned, Pink Lady, Grasshopper, and Manhattan. There’s a list of 22 Martinis that pays homage to drinks from the days when a three martini lunch was de rigueur. The featured Obivia Martini includes Stoli Vanilla with Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, raspberry puree, accompanied by a chocolate twist stick skewered with raspberries and mint.
Flights of Liquor are served in an ice block, embedded with flower petals. There are four different brands in each flight. Flights of Liquor can be requested for vodka, gin, rum, whisky, tequila and brandy. There are 20 wines that can be ordered by the glass. Three beers are on tap, and 20 are available by the bottle.
Liquor Lockers can be rented for $500 per year. If you’ve ordered bottle service but haven’t finished it, just store it in your locker for the next visit. Renting a liquor locker also entitles you to VIP priority seating.
Light Dining and Desserts
Tapas are served with a Mediterranean theme. Plates for the table include charcuterie, cheese, raw bar or antipasti. Smaller plates are available with flatbreads, bite sized tuna nicoise, dates, chicken lollipops, roasted fennel, spiced almonds, or marinated assorted olives. Paninis of cheese, chicken, salami or vegetables can also be ordered for light snacks. A dessert menu offers many tempting choices like chocolate fondue, panacotta, and chocolate peach to satisfy the need for something sweet.
Obivia is named after Matzo’s daughter, Olivia. When she was a toddler, Matzo would chase away her tears with streams of words that rhymed with her name, and Obivia was one of the words that would always quiet her.