The new Astor

The new Astor Wine and Spirits glistens. It shines. It’s brand spanking new.

I dropped by last week to see the new store since the owners recently left their old location of 40 years. This new store is 50 percent larger and 150 percent more atmospheric. It has a “cool room” where a humming cooling unit chills the sakes, age-worthy and fragile wines to 55 degrees.

There’s also a curving tasting bar for handing out periodic free tastings. When I was there on Thursday afternoon, it was besieged with those wishing to try the Greek wines being poured in glasses (will the plastic of the previous location stay permanently banned?).

A huge plasma TV hangs over the bar. Since watching a video of grapes fermenting is about as exciting as watching one of me typing this post, I wonder what sort of programming they will run when it is eventually turned on (please, dear Bacchus, no sports!). To counterbalance the TV, on the other end of the store, a wall of built-in bookshelves houses a huge inventory of wine books for sale and perusal.

Some shelves remain bare but the wines are coming in. I just hope the prices will not be going up.

399 Lafayette at 4th Street, New York, NY 10003
Open 9AM – 9PM (Sunday noon – 5PM)
Subway: Line 6, Astor Place
Astor remains one of my favorite wine stores in New York City. Map it on my map of New York City wine shops!

Swanky new entrance

The cool room still needs some filling up…

…but the tasting bar doesn’t

Handsome arched ceilings (barely visible in this poorly lit snapshot)

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7 Responses to “The new Astor”

  1. Thanks for your great comments! Two items: prices will NOT be going up. We will be as promotional as ever. If anything, you should expect us to do better, given the fact that we own the building and are now relieved of the exorbitant rent. (We did not “lose our lease” as some rumors persist; we returned the space 2 years early for a financial settlement. We needed larger space to create the amenities we needed) Second, the “Cool Room” doors have not arrived. On them we will display about 500 wines. Until they arrive, many of our offerings cannot be displayed. They remain in our temparature-controlled rooms in our basement.

    Andrew Fisher
    Astor Wines & Spirits

  2. Dear Andrew,

    Please open a store in London, UK – there’s nothing even close to your former store here!

  3. Wow. What an impressive looking store. Wish it was closer to my office. Guess I’ll need to take an after work subway ride to check it out in person.


  4. Thanks for your comments Andrew. Congratulations on becoming the master of your own domain! I look forward to many more years of great values and selections at the store.

  5. I hit the new place on Sunday and was duly impressed. It’s really beautiful, and I cannot wait until the shelves are fully stocked with 1) Italian wines (what else?) and 2) Virginia/NY/other regions of the US of A.

  6. Be very afraid of their returns/policies. I recently tried to return a bottle of wine with American express receipt. It didn’t work. Plus it took forever. Sherry-Lehman and good local stores much better about returning wine that is clearly off.

  7. […] visited the store when it first opened (and many times since then), but I recently went where I’d never been before: underground! […]


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