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Sommeliers sign retail lease as COVID-19 drives hike in alcohol sales

A luxury wine store concept crafted by two renowned sommeliers has signed a retail lease at Waterline Square, the three-building residential development on the Upper West Side developed by GID Development Group.

Somm Cellars Wine & Spirits, created by Jason Jacobeit (pictured top), Wine Director of the Michelin-starred New York restaurant Bâtard, and Daniel Jung, Head Sommelier at Wine Spectator Grand Award restaurant Tribeca Grill, will open a 1,300 s/f store on the ground floor of One Waterline Square.

The upscale store will blend white-glove service with Jacobeit and Jung’s hospitality backgrounds to offer “a sophisticated guest experience.” Residents of Waterline Square will receive special benefits, including customized seminars and classes, expert consultations and on-demand wine delivery to the development’s residences and amenity spaces.

Though Somm Cellars Wine & Spirits is set to officially open this fall, Jacobeit and Jung are already lending their expertise to Waterline Square, working with the development’s in-house lifestyle director to offer wine-focused virtual experiences for residents.

“Community is the central tenet of our experience, and we knew Waterline Square was the perfect location for our first retail concept because of its vibrant community-oriented atmosphere,” said Somm Cellars Wine & Spirits co-owners Jacobeit and Jung. “We look forward to opening our doors later this year and becoming part of the Waterline Square lifestyle experience.”

ONE WATERLINE SQUARE

“We are committed to the future of Waterline Square and to providing a well-rounded lifestyle for our residents and the neighborhood at large,” said James Linsley, President of GID Development Group. “With the addition of Somm Cellars Wine & Spirits to Waterline Square, we continue our goal of creating an unprecedented, comprehensive hospitality offering for our community.”

Mitch Friedel, Vice Chairman of Newmark Knight Frank; Janey Steinmetz, Managing Director; and Ryan Tucker, Associate, represented GID Development Group in the transaction.

Hospitality offerings at Waterline Square include the world’s first large-format culinary experience by Cipriani and the first uptown location of celebrated Mexican restaurant Empellón, both slated to open later this year.

The wine store deal comes as more Americans indulge a COVID-19 drinking habit. New research from Nielsen shows off-premise alcohol sales were up 24.4 percent in April. Wine and spirits are the most comment stay-at-home orders —up 29.4 and 32.7 percent, respectively — while beer sales were up 11.8 percent.

Alcohol.org conducted a study of 3,000 employees working from home across the U.S. and found that 1 in 3 Americans (32 percent) are more likely to drink during work hours while operating from home during the coronavirus.

Broken down by state, the survey discovered that residents of Hawaii (67 percent) are the most likely to drink at home during working hours, while Arkansans are the least likely with around 1 in 10 respondents (eight percent) agreeing with this statement. In New York, 38 percent of those surveyed reported day drinking while working from home.

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