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NYC Liquor and Wine Store Sales Are Skyrocketing During Ongoing Shutdown

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Plus, Eataly is reportedly eyeing a Midtown location — and more intel

The exterior of a liquor shop with a sign in pink that says sales are only available online or by placing an order on the phone.
NYC liquor and wine stores are seeing a major uptick in sales during the ongoing crisis.
Gary He/Eater

Coronavirus crisis proving to be a boom time for NYC liquor stores

At least one kind of business is experiencing a major boom time right now: NYC’s liquor and wine stores. Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo asked all non-essential businesses to close during the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis, prompting panic on Twitter that liquor stores would close as well. It turned out that wasn’t the case, and now some of these shops have seen sales skyrocket.

The owner of East Village’s Astor Wines and Spirits tells NY1 that the store’s busier now than it has ever been in the 50 years since its opening. Other liquor and wine stores across the city have reported an uptick in sales as well. Cuomo’s order to shutter non-essential businesses and the new restrictions on public life went into effect on March 22 at 8 p.m., but restaurants, bars, and liquor stores have been deemed essential and can stay open as long as they only do delivery and takeout.

Eataly reportedly in talks to open a new NYC location

The massive global Italian food hall Eataly, which already has two locations in NYC, is reportedly eyeing a third space in the former Barney’s flagship at 660 Madison Avenue, between East 60th and 61st Streets, the New York Post reports. The food hall is rumored to be taking up 40,000-square-feet in the building.

While Barney’s sold at auction last year for $271 million, the restaurant within it, Fred’s decided to stay on, which means Eataly would be the second restaurant to open in the building. With the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, it’s not yet clear when Eataly would open. A spokesperson for the food hall declined to comment.

In other news

— The city is calling on Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing company drivers to perform food deliveries, particularly to senior citizens during the ongoing crisis. Uber and Lyft suspended their carpooling services last week and have seen declines in ridership as NYC has come to a near standstill. This is the city’s effort to provide those drivers with work.

— Restaurateur Keith McNally was offering up free dinners at his restaurants like Balthazar and Minetta Tavern for correctly guessing the names of paintings he posted on his irreverent Instagram account. The free meals will be redeemed once the novel coronavirus crisis passes.

— Iconic Lower East Side pizzeria Scarr’s has shut down indefinitely.

— Williamsburg steakhouse Peter Luger’s served steaks, burgers, and cheesecakes, among other items to healthcare workers at Mt. Sinai Hospital, in Manhattan, on Saturday. The iconic restaurant plans to do the same for workers at Brooklyn’s Woodhull Hospital today.

— Some NYC restaurants like the Butcher’s Daughter and the Clam are turning into temporary grocery stores, while dining-in at restaurants remains off limits.