Retailers with Roots
For a true taste of the past, visit one of these age-old shops that sell bottled history and have a story of their own to tell.
Nearly 33 years after the infamous Lager Beer Riot of 1855—the consequence of a local ordinance that mandated bars to close on Sundays and raised liquor license fees from $50 to $300 annually—German immigrant Louis Glunz opened shop in downtown Chicago. With a legacy stretching five generations, this 123-yearold operation displays its history alongside its merchandise. The onsite Glunz Tavern, to be reopened soon, will display artifacts from the days when Glunz himself imported, aged and bottled fortified wines from Spain and Portugal in the shop’s cellar.
What once stood as a modest 800-square-foot room, heated solely by a coal-burning potbelly stove, has undergone six facelifts since it first opened in 1941. Now in its 70th year, this World War II-era shop keeps its traditional mom-and-pop vibe while offering 7,000 square feet stocked with a diverse selection of wine, spirits, saké and craft beer; a California-designated room; and an adjoining, privately owned cheese boutique.
New York City
Boasting the title of America’s oldest fine wine shop, Acker Merrall & Condit has grown exponentially, evolving from a sole 1820s storefront into a retail shop that’s home to the world’s largest wine auction company. Sure, the company may have garnered a world record in April 2011 by selling a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne recovered from a nearly 200-year-old shipwreck, but it still stays true to its roots by offering customers fun and educational wine workshops throughout the year.