By JOSEPH BERGER / THE NEW YORK TIMES — Dec. 1, 2011
As Tastes Change in Harlem, Old-Look Liquor Store Stirs a Fight.
Some affluent residents of a gentrified section of Harlem would prefer a trendy shop that offers high-priced wines. Many neighbors agree that their genteel enclave of brownstones in the heart of Harlem does need a shop where they can pick up, say, a good cabernet for a dinner party.
But the liquor store seeking to open on Lenox Avenue near 119th Street is decidedly not what they have in mind.
Fred R. Conrad/The NYT
With its roll-down steel gate, its bulletproof plexiglass to guard against robbers and drunken vagrants, and its flamboyant red-and-yellow sign, the store is a throwback to the old crime-ridden, ramshackle Harlem, some neighbors say, not the reborn Harlem they have been advancing during the past decade. “We want to be Park Slope with charming little stores and become a destination for people,” said Ruthann Richert, a 25-year resident who is treasurer of a local group, the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association. “A store like that is going to attract the people hanging out, drinking wine, so if you’re looking to buy a $30 bottle of wine, you’re not going to go in there.” (suite…)