BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | It’s been one year since Seward Park Liquors grand reopening at Ludlow Street.
Store owner John DeBlasio relocated to the Lower East Side side street after 43 years on Grand Street, and just like at his old location, he said he is dedicated to providing neighborhood residents with a wide variety of wines and liquors at affordable prices.
During a tour of the store, DeBlasio pulled down a bottle of one of the many types of aperitifs from one of the ceiling-high shelves in the store’s narrow front hallway. In his hand he held a bottle of St. Germian, a popular brand of an elder flower liqueur that can be used to make cocktails like martinis or drunk before dinner to stimulate the appetite. He carries the nearly $40 brand along with its less expensive counter part, St. Elder, which can be purchased for around $19.
“So, that is what I try to do,” said DiBlasio. “Give the customer an option.”
And there are options for everyone at Seward Park Liquors — DeBlasio boasts that he carries 1,000 different kinds of wine and liquors in the deceptively small store. Sections of the store are designated for Kosher wines, sakes and sojus, some things not found everywhere. Once customers pass down the entrance hallway, where unique liquors like Bolivian whiskey lie, they walk into a large wine room. There, wine bottles from countries like Italy, France, Israel and Austria are stacked so tall that DeBlasio has installed rolling ladders along the walls to better reach the fermented delights.
“I have great connections and can get mostly anything,” said DeBlasio, who is a native of the Lower East Side.
At the end of the wine room, the back door to Seward Park Liquors leads to small patio that DeBlasio recently created. The space can provide visitors short respites from city during the store’s monthly wine-tastings.