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Sherry-Lehmann moves house

Sherry-Lehmann, perhaps New York's and America's most famous wine merchant, has moved from its address since 1948 to a new, bigger midtown location.

Established in 1934 on Madison Avenue, Sherry-Lehmann reopened three blocks away on even more upscale Park Avenue in early September.

The company spent about US$5. 5m in constructing and furnishing its new headquarters, chairman Michael Aaron said.

The reinvented Sherry-Lehmann, approached from west and south, resembles a miniature cruise liner gently heading southward.

A stretch of curved windows sparkle in the sunlight that illuminates the northeast corner of 505 Park Avenue at East 59th Street. Above the glass, curved Art Deco fittings gleam like new brass.

The store’s early figures showed an appreciable increase in sales over the comparable period in 2006, Aaron said.

Outfitted with dark-wood shelving and windowed cabinets, the brightly lit, cool interior exudes the sedate air of a British men’s club. Wine antiques hang from dark ceiling beams.

Sherry-Lehmann registers about $50m a year in sales – about US$15m of them on the Internet – Aaron said. ‘Our fiscal year, which ended on August 31, was the biggest we’ve ever had,’ he said.

While Sherry-Lehmann caters to members of the prosperous ‘carriage trade’, as it is still called, the front windows and interior bins are chockablock with domestic and foreign wines costing less than $20.

Patrons can take home a Methuselah of 1995 Dom Pérignon Champagne prominently displayed at US$14,950, but nearby, under an ‘Our Picks’ sign, they can also find a Cristalino nonvintage brut cava from Spain for US$7. 95.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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