Nick Kotrides is putting the finishing details on his new Elmwood Avenue venture, Uncle Jumbo’s (learn more). What was formerly a health food spot will soon be a swank tasting room for the distillery, but there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. Once open, this cozy little corner will be re-energized with an assortment of offerings, making it a unique destination on the street.
“We will sell cocktails, wine, beer, cider and mead that’s made in New York State,” said Kotrides, who is happy to be back on Elmwood – he formerly owned Faherty’s and Toro. “We will promote all brands throughout NY and we will sell them out the door as a bottle shop. It will be the only true bar/bottle shop in NYS. We are also in collaboration with Resurgence Brewing Company to make an Uncle Jumbo’s beer. This project feels more like Faherty’s than any other, meaning that it will have a connection with our customers and we can tell stories over the bar. That is going to be a lot of fun. We’re opening Wednesday, ahead of St. Paddy’s day weekend.”
When I last spoke to Kotrides, he told me that one of his biggest regrets when opening Uncle Jumbo’s distillery was not incorporating a tasting room. As luck would have it, I believe that that early-on decision worked out for the best, because it pushed him to establish a satellite location on a street that he cares deeply about.
It’s going to be great having Kotrides back in the fold, helping with street clean-ups, being a part of the growth of the street again, and simply being a solid business presence in a neighborhood that could (still) use a kick in the butt.
Get connected: Uncle Jumbo’s Tasting Room | 470 Elmwood Avenue, at Hodge | www.unclejumbosdistillery.com