When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that liquor stores fell into the “essential business” category, the sound you heard was the collective sigh of New Yorkers who were relieved that they wouldn’t face the lockdown without any liquid courage.
If you’re looking to replenish your stock for your next virtual kanpai at a Zoom Happy Hour, here is a list of notable liquor stores that have plenty of sake, shochu, and Japanese whisky.
Please do not take the subway to these stores just to pick up an order. Visit them if you live in walking distance; otherwise, order from them instead. Stay safe and save the subways for the essential workers.
NYC’s first shop specializing in premium sake
Hours: Daily from noon until 6:00 p.m.
Address: 324 E. 9th Street, New York, NY 10003
Accepting online orders ($38 minimum)
Brooklyn’s go-to shop for Japanese spirits and sake
Located in Japan Village at Industry City
Address: 267 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Same-day delivery is available on Mercato ($15 minimum)
Union Square Wines and Spirits
Large selection of sake with a section devoted to sake from Fukushima Prefecture
Hours: Daily from noon until 8:00 p.m.
Address: 140 4th Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Taking delivery orders by phone and online ($10 local delivery fee)
Ambassador Wines and Spirits
Upscale shop with a walk-in sake fridge
Open, but operating on reduced hours:
Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Sunday from noon until 8:00 p.m.
Free delivery within a 10-block neighborhood range; amount of delivery fee depends on location
Address: 1020 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit
Small number of sake, impressive selection of Japanese whisky
Open for pickup and delivery only online, through their app, or by phone
Hours: Noon until 8:00 p.m.
Address: 5 W. 19th Street, New York, NY 10011
Astor Wines and Spirits
Almost 200 artisanal sakes from around the world, stored in temperature-controlled units
Closed, but taking orders (delivery only) by phone and online
Shipping Fee: $25 (Free shipping on first order of more than $99)
Delivery day may be 10 days from the day you place your order online.
A short list of sake and a couple of Suntory whisky products available for pickup or delivery in Park Slope, Brooklyn
Hours: Noon until 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday
Address: 436 7th Avenue (between 14th and 15th Streets), Brooklyn
E-commerce platform for alcohol delivery working with stores in your delivery area
Depending on where you are, there is a wide range of sake, shochu, Japanese beer, and Japanese whisky available.
Delivery times range from “Get it now” to next day to two or three days later
Online sake subscription service that educates consumers about the beverage. Choose a subscription box or order individual bottles from their selection of more than 200 sakes.
$10 shipping fee (Free shipping of six bottles or more)
$10 off your first order with promo code TIPPSYFIRST
Deliveries of individual orders (not subscription box) typically take seven to 14 business days.
Iconic Japanese speakeasy in the East Village is creating six different to-go cocktails to make social distancing more fun.
The cocktails can be consumed within three days of ordering. The cocktail “Night and Day” keeps for one week.
Hours: Daily from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
Address: 8 Stuyvesant Street (2nd floor, enter through Village Yokocho)
Delivery: Caviar (for those in the delivery area)
Check their Instagram daily for photos and videos of the bartenders making the cocktails.
Angel’s Share and other bars and restaurants within the Yoshida family’s group (Village Yokocho, Kyo Ya, Oldies, and Waku Waku) have teamed up with ThisT-Shirt.com to raise funds for their staff. The shirts have the logo of the bar or restaurant on the front and a phrase summing up the lockdown experience (censored version is available). Go to thist-shirt.com to make your purchase, and 100% of the profits will be equally divided among the participating restaurants.
Kato Sake Works
Brand new sake brewery in Bushwick produces three handcrafted Junmai varieties. Offering pickup at their window.
Hours: Wednesday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Address: 5 Central Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Must pre-order on the website.
Note: Minoru’s Sake Shop inside Landmark Wine in Chelsea announced on March 18 that it was closing for two weeks. As of this writing (Friday, April 3), it has not reopened.
It’s always good to check out the social media accounts of these businesses. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of other liquor stores that specialize in Japanese alcohol.
Stay safe and hope to kanpai with everyone at a Japanese bar while sipping sake and Toki highballs very soon!
Links to information on coronavirus:
JapanCultureNYC is the English-language website dedicated to all things Japanese in New York City. Discover your next favorite Japanese anything at JapanCulture-NYC.com.