Woodwork: Vanderbilt Avenue Gets a (Corn-free) “Sexy Soccer Bar”


Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights may still be buzzing over the arrival of Saul Bolton’s Vanderbilt, but that’s no reason not to forge ahead with new sleek, minimalist spaces serving small plates in a hipstervore environment. The latest is Woodwork: a locavore, organic, naturopathic… wait for it… soccer bar. Oh, and one more thing: it’s entirely corn-free. Ross Greenberg, a former private chef, who also provides holistic diet advice, combines his love of food, wine, and footie in Woodwork, which opened in the old Indigo Blu space on Sunday.

“We’re trying to keep everything as close to the earth as possible,” says Greenberg.

The reclaimed wood bar (made from a 150-year-old Massachusetts farmhouse) still damp from its days-old finishing was built by Greenberg’s partner and friend, Eric Bernstein, a Prospect Heights native. Behind the bar are two large embedded flat-screen televisions showing soccer games at all times. A reverse-osmosis water system, biodegradable sponges, and recycled paper products are used. The menu includes waffles, paninis served with house pickles, cheese and charcuterie, and homemade pretzels. A selection of wines from such great soccer-playing nations as France, Italy, and Argentina are a great deal starting at $5 per glass.

Interestingly, Greenberg uses no corn products due a self-professed “intellectual allergy” to the stuff.

“Yes, it gives us a lot of challenges,” he admits, brandishing a two-liter bottle of Mexican Pepsi made with real sugar. “We have to make our own tonic.”

Cocktails made with fresh juices are on the way and, come World Cup season, Woodwork will offer a special themed menu. Greenberg’s wife has already nicknamed the place a “sexy soccer bar.” He’s hoping the name sticks.

583 Vanderbilt Avenue


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