Farwell, LeNell: Whiskey Queen Leaving New York for Mexico


Last night, the good folks behind Spirited Cocktails attended an American Whiskey tasting at Louis 649 where LeNell Smothers announced that she’s leaving New York for Mexico. Since losing the lease on LeNell’s Wine & Spirits Boutique in Red Hook earlier this year, Smothers had denied numerous rumors that she was moving to London or Amsterdam, maintaining she was looking for another storefront somewhere in the city. But in the video on the Spirited Cocktails site, Smothers clearly states that “I’m moving to Mexico and hoping to open a cocktail bed and breakfast-type thing, very small and intimate.”

After Smothers opened her store in 2003, it became a destination for spirits lovers, particularly those in thrall to its impressive bourbon selection. Smothers, an Alabama native, also held a series of sold-out whiskey seminars and distilled her own Red Hook Rye, producing a small batch of it once a year.

Here’s hoping that Mexico will be more welcoming than Smothers’ Red Hook landlord.