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From 2003 to 2009, Alabama native LeNell Camacho Santa Ana was the toast of New York City’s spirits and liquor scene. Whisky Magazine selected her liquor shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn, as America’s whiskey retailer of the year (single outlet category) for three consecutive years. This Saturday, June 9, 2018, she opens LeNell’s Beverage Boutique with fanfare (and wine, bourbon and vodka tastings!) in Birmingham’s historic Norwood neighborhood.
5 reasons we love it!
- As a woman entrepreneur, LeNell brings diversity to the Birmingham’s liquor store scene. She also features women winemakers and winemakers of color in her store.
- Kick-butt selection. The store touts “as many organic items as possible” and “boasts Bama’s largest American whiskey and vermouth selection as well as lots of small craft brands of spirits.”
- It’s high time the revitalization of Birmingham’s historic Norwood neighborhood, founded in 1910, got some retail love.
- We love a well-timed event. June 9 is National Rosé Day and it takes place during Pride Week.
- Did we mention wine, bourbon and vodka tastings? (Keep reading.)
Tasting schedule for LeNell’s Beverage Boutique grand opening on June 9
- Location: 1208 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35234
- Noon to 1:30 p.m.—Mouton Noir wines by African American winemaker Andre Mack, white Bordeaux, organic Cotes du Rhone and French pink wine
- 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.—Pasas Spanish pink wine made from old vine grenache, limited release rainbow Pride cans of organically farmed bubbly pink wine, an organic white Bordeaux and Bama Bourbon
- 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.—Cooper’s Craft bourbon
- 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.—LeNell’s favorite certified biodynamic (organic+) French rosé, Cathead honeysuckle vodka and chicory liqueur
Bless New York’s sweet little heart
In July 2010, nearly a year and a half after LeNell left New York, one fan and Yelp reviewer opined, “I’m very sad that this kick-ass liquor store closed down last year. It’s part of what made Red Hook, Red Hook.”
“She knew by name all of the distillers of all the bourbons she sold (and always had a great story to tell you about her travels and visits with wine producers/distillers) LeNell also had great ‘Southern-fried’ personality and she made me laugh almost every time I went into the store (and gave me tastings).”—Danielle C. Brooklyn, New York, via Yelp, July 10, 2010
All we have to say about that is…
Thanks for coming home to Alabama, LeNell! Birmingham can’t wait to see the new store!
For more about Birmingham’s Norwood neighborhood, check this out.