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438 East 9th Street
Wineshop LLC 1 Wine Shops East Village

Aaron Thorp and Michael Sullivan lived on 7th Street, two blocks from their store’s current location, for eight years before opening Wineshop LLC. With Michael’s background in retail management and Aaron’s extensive wine knowledge, Napa Valley background, and successful career as the wine director for Raoul’s in Soho and the Standard Hotel in the meatpacking district, they make an excellent team.

When I stopped by, Michael was kind enough to take time during a busy day to tell me about their stock and their position in the neighborhood. Wineshop LLC opened in 2013 after the guys secured what they hoped to be the perfect spot. I learned how difficult it is to acquire a liquor license: an establishment has to be a certain distance from churches, schools, and other stores selling alcohol. After lengthy renovations, Aaron and Michael opened Wineshop LLC and began offering their regionally diverse selection from places including California, Washington (Aaron is from St. Helena), Oregon, France, Italy, and Australia.

The two men focus on small production, biodynamic, and sustainable wine, but mostly they sell what they love. They alternate the stock on a consistent basis, offering wines that one does not often find in small shops similar to theirs. “We only bring in things that we would drink ourselves,” Michael said. Stop by on most Saturdays and there is a tasting going on from 6pm to 8pm. Additionally, in the not too distant future they hope to start offering wine classes.

When chatting about the people who stop into their shop, Michael mentioned that their clients are mostly locals – “Neighborhoods tend to be a three or four block radius.” While owning a small business, Michael and Aaron have met far more people and made more lasting connections in the neighborhood than they did in all the years that they lived in the area - including people from their own building. “You realize how neighborly the East Village really is,” he said. A community like this one, however, cannot exist without support. Michael’s last words to me were “Shop local….if you can!”

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Veselka 1 Breakfast Ukrainian Diners Brunch undefined


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Duo 1 Women's Clothing Vintage undefined


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