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View Full Version : LeNell's is closing, next Friday.



cowdery
02-13-2009, 14:45
LeNell's is a small, idiosyncratic (and bourbon-friendly) liquor store in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. The proprietor, Tonya LeNell Smothers, used to be an active participant on this site and still has many friends here.

She is closing at her present location next Friday, 2/20, and does not have a new spot. She is actively looking for one and promises to reopen, but she can't predict when that will be.

There is more on my blog, here (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-favorite-liquor-store-is-closing-one.html).

And on her web site, here (http://www.lenells.com/index.php).

Oh, and she also raises chickens, in Brooklyn, so says The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/19yard.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all).

HighTower
02-13-2009, 14:49
Although I have never dealt with LeNell, I know what a great store she has and what a fantastic range of Bourbon she has there. Sad news for the people of Brooklyn......

Good luck with finding somewhere LeNell, I hope everything works out for you!

Scott

Luna56
02-13-2009, 15:32
Sad to hear this. I was planning on visiting there this spring. I understand that LeNell is quite a character. I wish her the best of luck and hope she's back up and running soon.

Cheers!

RedVette
02-13-2009, 15:44
Just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of tasting my first glass of Red Hook Rye. It was tasty, I hope LeNell finds a new home soon.

cigarnv
02-13-2009, 15:46
Has to be a tough business environment for a small unique liquor shop .... tough times for small business....

HighTower
02-13-2009, 17:13
Just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of tasting my first glass of Red Hook Rye. It was tasty, I hope LeNell finds a new home soon.
I only recently tried LeNell's Red Hook Rye at a friends bar here in Brisbane. It was truly sublime! Just goes to show people all over the world know about her....

camduncan
02-13-2009, 21:58
I wanted to see the store on my trip to New York, but sadly ran out of time. I truely hope she finds a new location soon.

Slob
02-13-2009, 22:35
Please please please please reopen in Nassau County.

HighTower
02-14-2009, 01:07
Australia needs a store like LeNell's! The weather is great down here LeNell....
:grin:

I went to the bar today I mentioned earlier and after my Mint Julep I had some Red Hook Rye....LeNell wherever you end up, just keep up the great work!

Scott

ratcheer
02-14-2009, 06:08
I remember LeNell from when she had a solid presence in this forum. What a wonderful person! I miss her. I wish her well in whatever her circumstances lead her to. Knowing her, I am pretty sure she will make it so.

Tim

rockporter
02-15-2009, 09:41
Lenell's became a must go to plac when in NY the past few years.

Interesting, in Boston, there is a new bar called Drink. They do not show bottles but instead ask what type of liquor you prefer and suggest various combinations.

Our bartender, Mmisty, was excellent. Although I usually stick to bourbon neat or with 1-2 cubes. She made me a couple of wonderful mixed drinks. The Frisco - Bourbon, B&B and lemon and the Hague - bourbon, dry vermouth and chartreuse.

As we are talking to Misty, she told us that she was going to NY as a friend was closing a liquor store. Turns out she is good friends with LeNell. Two days later I got LeNells email saying she was closing.

Good to find a good bartender bur sad about LeNell's store.

snakster
02-16-2009, 16:02
Rather sad. I made it there last May. I was surprised how small the place was, but it was a nice place none the less. Hopefully she finds a new locale. Maybe bigger and better. With adversity comes opportunity.

TNbourbon
02-16-2009, 17:27
I never made it LeNell's -- in person, I mean:
http://www.cafepress.com/cp/moredetails.aspx?productNo=13886789&colorNo=23&pr=B&showbleed=false&tab=1&Zoom=1
She was gracious enough to bring me an example, which is many times more valuable to me for it's representation of the personal than the collectible.

pepcycle
02-16-2009, 18:21
I hate to think I moved back to the Northeast and the only good bourbon store is going south.
The Bitter Truth!!!

doubleblank
02-16-2009, 18:51
Ed....you've got a better memory than I do. I wish LeNell the best wherever she ends up.

Randy

Buffalo Bill
02-17-2009, 03:12
I was looking forward to a visit there... it's always a sad story when we lose a store worth perusing, especially like this one... BB

DrinkyBanjo
02-17-2009, 06:38
I have been to LeNells a few times, it was a great place. The first time I walked out with a Weller 19, this was long after it was discontinued. The second time I walked out with some great stuff as well but I also was able to sample some Van Blankle while I shopped! I'm sure she'll reopen somewhere else very soon.

Stones
07-08-2009, 19:17
I have a trip later in the year to NY/L.A. and was wondering if anyone has heard when or if LeNell will reopen somewhere, sometime? anyone.... :searching:

BourbonJoe
07-08-2009, 20:45
I visited LeNell's twice. I was astounded at the whiskey collection she had. She is a super person and I hope she lands on her feet and again becomes a purveyor of fine spirits. This world needs more LeNell's.
Joe :usflag:

p_elliott
07-09-2009, 00:30
I have a trip later in the year to NY/L.A. and was wondering if anyone has heard when or if LeNell will reopen somewhere, sometime? anyone.... :searching:

I think she has a web site did you check that? You can probably contact her from there.

cowdery
07-09-2009, 10:15
I haven't heard from her since the store closed and I suspect this week she is in New Orleans at Tales.

OscarV
07-09-2009, 14:25
I haven't heard from her since the store closed and I suspect this week she is in New Orleans at Tales.

Does that involve the cocktail contest that Sazerac is sponsoring?
A customer of mine qualified for it with a vodka cocktail he invented and is going down to New Orleans for the contest.
I asked him what he came up with and he said I wouldn't be interested because it's made with vodka.
But I did clue him in on some out of production bourbons and he is going "dusty hunting" while in N.O.

Stones
07-09-2009, 17:37
I haven't heard from her since the store closed and I suspect this week she is in New Orleans at Tales.

Thank you all for your replies, i guess if she is thinking of opening a new store it will still be a while away. Maybe next trip then... :rolleyes:

darkluna
10-16-2009, 08:02
This may be old news, but I just checked in on Lenell's site and saw this:

"I've decided to end the search for space in NYC and move to Mexico! Thank you for the years of fun in the shop. I'm excited about new adventures coming soon. Stay posted here for details as we develop the website for Casa Coctel, a new vacation hideaway in La Paz, Mexico. My man Demian and I just contracted on the purchase of a cozy lil home 5 blocks from the beach in Baja California Sur. Ready for a whole new B&B experience? Bourbon & Biscuits, that is. Email info@lenells.com to sign up for our Cocktail of the Month email list and to get news of the move. Yee haw!"
"To exist is to change; to change is to mature; to mature is to create oneself endlessly" - Henri Bergson

smokinjoe
10-16-2009, 08:32
Ovarios de Bronce!! :bowdown:

cowdery
10-16-2009, 15:04
Thanks, Chris. News to me, although I told her when she closed the store that she wouldn't come back and she didn't believe me. I thought she would stay in Europe but I can totally see Mexico. LeNell is an Alabama girl, after all, and even in Red Hook she had a chicken coop. She'll do great down there but, then, she'll do great anywhere.

OscarV
10-16-2009, 15:09
Wow, don't ya wish you could pull up stakes and do it like that?
I'm a 'Bama boy and I gotta say I'm jealous.

Virus_Of_Life
10-17-2009, 01:22
Wow, not me, not in Mexico, not now, not as an American in Mexico. That said, good luck to her.