Park Slope Residents, We Need Your Support

Please sign this petition as a Park Slope resident, and/or shopper, in support of Amaro Spirits & Wine (Amaro Spirits), a boutique shop (450 sq ft of sales space) attempting to open on Fifth Avenue between Garfield Place and First Street that will sell predominantly herb-based spirits as well as unique small-producer wines from around the world not found in any nearby stores.

There is no other liquor store in the country that features as comprehensive an inventory of herbal aperitifs and amaro (the Italian term for the category of herb-based digestif) spirits. These spirits were originally conceived as tonics to aid digestion and stimulate the appetite through the unique properties of their herbal recipes. Amaro Spirits encapsulates my passion, fueled by my family's strong ties to Italy, that introduced me to an aperitif/digestif subcategory that I know will interest a sophisticated, internationally oriented Park Slope consumer base. I want to encourage people to embrace, as I have, a centuries-old culture of drinking herbal spirits as part of the dining experience.

The store will also provide educational events and tastings of these liquors that are increasingly being served in the city’s restaurants and bars. Standard liquors will be sold, too, but only a limited number of unique brands for each type.

The store will also include a selection of international and local organic and kosher wines, and a wide selection of bottles for under $12. Pairing with food will be a theme.

As owner / operator, I will continue to live in the neighborhood as I have for more than 10 years with my wife and our two children who attend the local public school, PS 321, and I am eager to apply my vision for warm, engaging, informative customer service to a neighborhood that craves it.


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Recent signatures

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    Arvind Ponnambalam

    9 months ago Residential Address (Please include street and zipcode): 449 1st St.
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    Nicole Wesselmann

    9 months ago Residential Address (Please include street and zipcode): 218 Saint Marks Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238
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    Bryony Weiss

    9 months ago Residential Address (Please include street and zipcode): 445 6th ave, brooklyn, ny, 11215
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Petition highlights

  • Friends and Neighbors, I would like to thank everybody who took the time to sign this petition. It is hard to put into words how much your support meant to me and my family. Unfortunately, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) did not reverse their decision to deny our store, Amaro Spirits & Wine, a license to sell liquor. The owners of Red White & Bubbly (211 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215) and Picada y Vino (327 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215) returned with their lawyer to maintain their opposition on the grounds that Park Slope would not be served by a competitor due to the neighborhood’s "starter family", "budget-minded" demographics, zero population growth, and no new significant residential and commercial development since 2008 (when Picada y Vino was established). The chairman of the SLA agreed, saying that he did not want to see 5th Avenue become a "liquor row." The SLA Board members stated that their official ruling was based on Amaro Spirits & Wine being too close to both of these opposing stores. The fact that the two distances were further than certain other stores are to each other on 5th Avenue (and 7th Avenue) had no bearing. The Board also did not comment on rigorous, vetted data presented regarding the true nature of residential and commercial development in Park Slope, its household demographics, and the fact that Park Slope currently has less stores per capita than Prospect Heights, Boerum Hill/Downtown, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, and Williamsburg. The uniqueness of the store's business concept and product base, also contested by the two opposing stores, was acknowledged by the Board. Lastly, Picada y Vino (aka Wine Shop) has all along been in the process of anonymously looking for a buyer for their store. Unfortunately, none of these facts had an impact on the SLA’s decision. Again, your support will never be forgotten. And, in fact, you were the only public that was represented at the hearing – the opposing stores did not produce anything in that regard. I am working with my landlords to find a new tenant for the storefront who will offer something unique and marketable to the neighborhood while maintaining its charm and character.
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