[Photo via Facebook]
East Village Wines, 138 First Ave. between Ninth Street and St. Mark's Place, is now under new ownership.
Imran Ahmed was the store's manager for years before taking over as an owner in 2008.
Ahmed and his team's last day at this shop was on Aug. 7.
This week, he sent an email to the shop's mailing list. Ahmed was happy to have me share the letter here. He did not disclose why he sold the business.
If you had told me 24 years ago, when I first walked into East Village Wines, that someday I’d be a owner of East Village Wines and a happily married father of two happy and healthy kids, I’d have laughed harder than I ever have. I have spent the majority of my adult life in this store. Through it, you welcomed me into your living rooms, weddings, and one-man shows, with a tall glass and a hug. So it is with a great deal of sadness that I must inform you that I have sold the business, and have left 138 First Avenue in the hands of somebody new.
The East Village is one of the most vibrant and creative places in the world, and it was a pleasure to befriend so many beautiful and talented people while I was here. Some of my customers I have known since they were in the womb (yes, that makes me feel old), back when their parents were regular customers, still swinging from the chandeliers of the East Village. I have loved and lost so many people through this little shop, that is hard to sit back and take it all in.
I have seen a lot of the East Village change in the last quarter century, from riots in the Park to caravans of double-decker tourist buses loading and unloading out front. We stayed open through a few international crises, a handful of hurricanes, and even a blackout. From the Polish butcher next door to Michelin-starred dining across the street, the neighborhood has evolved in ways nobody could have predicted, and I had a front row seat.
I will never be able to repay all the friendship and inclusiveness I have experienced here at East Village Wines. This store has broadened my idea of family, and has given me a place I am proud to call home. I leave this store a happier man. I’m not sure what awaits me, but hopefully, we can sit down sometime and have a glass of wine and talk about it.
Thank you all.
[Image of Ahmed via Yelp.]
There has been a liquor store at the address since after prohibition in 1933. It is known at the moment who the new owners are, and what, if any, changes they might make at East Village Wines.