It was first reported back in December that historic wine shop Sherry-Lehmann was in danger of closing because of unpaid bills.
According to the New York Post, the store was served a cease-and-desist order this week by the New York State Liquor Authority for failing to renew its license. Its doors were then locked on Thursday before its usual closing time.
The store at 505 Park Avenue (at East 59th Street), which had been open since 1934, had seemingly survived another scare just a few days prior when ConEd arrived and – according to an unnamed source – told the employees to gather their belongings as the power was about to be shut off due to unpaid bills.
Shyda Gilmer, the shop’s chief executive and co-owner, apparently paid enough money at the time to keep the lights on, but considering that they owe $2,766,431 in back taxes, according to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, that wasn’t enough.
The recent cease-and-desist order was served after the SLA received a tip that the store was operating without a liquor license, which according to the SLA costs $4,298 for three years. Sherry-Lehmann’s license expired on Feb. 28 and selling liquor without a license in New York is considered a misdemeanor offense.
Despite this grim outlook, a spokesperson for Sherry-Lehmann told the Post “We are fully engaged with the NYSLA and are confident we will be fully active soon.” However, they won’t be able to reopen until their renewal application and fees have been paid. They also won’t be allowed to order more product until then, as the SLA has ordered their vendors not to ship to them.