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May 29, 2008 06:13 AM

Best liquor store in NYC (LeNell's) calling it quits?

Troubling news over at

This is truly horrible.

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  1. New York may be the "greatest city on the earth", but we sure do let some terrible things happen. LeNell's is great. I hope they can figure out another way to stay.

    1. Guess the Fairway and Ikea drove up the rents. Silly girl should have got a longer lease. She might try a location on a side street now that she has a following. The bar + store seemed like a good idea. I think the land owners might be overplaying their hand with an economic slowdown coming. I suspect in the future they might wish they signed on with LeNell. Good Luck LeNells I'm still thinking on the Charbay walnut.

      Not near Brooklyn but in my #2 pick.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Geo8rge

        "silly girl"? What decade is it, Geo8rge?

        1. re: jmj

          Decade? She should have gotten a lease longer than a decade.

          1. re: Geo8rge

            Uh, I think the implication was about sexism in this thread, which seems to have turned up in more than one post.

          2. re: jmj

            Decade? She should have signed a lease for more than a decade, for sure.

            Actually She is bankable, she could just sell out and work for a Manhattan bar/liquor store or both. Her Bar+liquor store idea seemed more Manhattan anyway.

            BTW, this weekend all seemed ok. No going out of business sale.

        2. Oh please, LeNell's. Spare us the dramatics. Instead of whining in a pity party about what shoulda, coulda ,woulda, accept the fact that life is rarely fair and go about the business of finding a suitlable relocation spot.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Tay

            I was never really impressed with this place. I went with a friend to a Sunday tasting and was impressed with the decor which overshadowed the wine selections IMO....

            1. re: slopeguy

              I know that liquor was the specialty there so perhaps its unfair to judge the place based on their wine selections and recommendations but I also was not impressed at all with the wine. Choice was extremely limited and the suggestions they made were actually kind of ridiculous - a couple of the suggestions were sweet, bland and just downright bad. And even though I wasn't shopping for bourbon or scotch their selection didn't look any bigger than any other run-of-the-mill liquor shop. Decor was nice though. But what's up with her saying that if she can't have her shop in Red Hook then she'll move to Manhattan - she has no interest in other parts of Brooklyn. WTF?

              1. re: angelhair

                She probably has the best selection of bourbons in the northeast. Whiskeys and ryes are also very nice, too. There may be one or two scotches, and the wines are - as you said - essentially throw aways. But for bourbon lovers and fans of other American spirits this is the place to beat.

            2. re: Tay

              While I don't disagree with you in principle , I think you are ignoring the liquor store license problem in NYS. If she does not relocate within a close distance (3 or 4 block radius?) she will have to apply for a new liquor store license which can take many months to over a year with no guarantee of success. Thus, even if she were willing to take the risk and willing to be out of business for quite a while, it would be difficult to finance the move. That is why the move across the street was so attractive.

              1. re: bobjbkln

                I was not ignoring it. I just was not aware the parameters were so limited. I'm glad you educated me. Knowing that, it makes me wonder why she didn't take concrete steps to officially nail down the new site l-o-n-g before the 11th Hour. Some city agencies will make exceptions or will be more helpful if extenuating circumstances exist. Perhaps she can appeal to the media for some exposure of her plight. She did say it would take the Landlord several months to get her out. If she rolls up her sleeves, hopefully, by then she will have found a new location and applied for or possibly have received a new license.

                1. re: Tay

                  She seems to have been negociating an new location, that fell through. I suspect she is negociating with her current landlord. My guess is that the property owners are thinking Red Hook will be the next hot area. I could easily see that NOT happening. Red hook is really not that nice, in a declining economy I could see things decaying rapidly there.

            3. Her latest email suggests that she is not throwing in the towel and is looking beyond Red Hook to other parts of Brooklyn. She mentioned Bed Stuy as a possibility.

              1. There is a great synopsis of the situation at the Drinks Examiner:


                I'm looking forward to the next era of LeNell's, wherever it may be!