Ephemeral New York Deems St. George Liquor Sign ‘One Of Coolest’ Vintage

The always intriguing Ephemeral New York, which “chronicles an ever-changing city through faded and forgotten artifacts,” has deemed the neon sign outside the St. George Hotel one of “New York’s coolest vintage liquor store signs.” It joins age-old comrades in the West Village, 14th Street & Eighth Avenue and the Lower East Side.

Of course, there is no actual Hotel St. George Liquor Store today. The recently renovated Michael Towne Wine & Spirits at 73 Clark Street below the sign is anything but “shabby,” as Ephemeral describes the still-working red neon booze banner, adding, “You probably won’t find organic wines or imported microbrews in these old-school city liquor stores. Their shabby vintage signs tell us they’re traditional neighborhood shops where you can pick up decent booze at decent prices.”

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  • AEB

    Was just thinking about this sign the other day.

    I’m the archivist for a company that’s responsible for most of the great mid-twentieth century neon signs that defined Times Square, and we often bemoan the disappearance of neon displays in favor of programmable LED “TV screen” signs.

    And lo! In our own backyard an example of “neon era” sign making. Not a great sign, but a piece of city history.

  • North heights res

    Whoever wrote that article has clearly never set foot inside the store. “Old-school city liquor store”? “Traditional shops”? “Decent prices”?

    I frequent the store, but it’s crazily priced compared to most stores I’ve been to, in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and there’s nothing traditional about it — if anything, it suffers from too much trendiness.

    But: it IS a great sign. Much better, in fact, than the recent re-design of the shop’s exterior and interior.

  • GHB

    Too bad their window displays are so fugly.

  • bornhere

    I agree with AEB that neon signs are something special; but I’m not understanding what makes this such an artifact-y thing: it’s just not that old (and it certainly doesn’t compare to our beloved lobster).

  • Andrew Porter

    They also got the St. George wrong, stating, “The Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights was once the borough’s largest and most luxurious hotel. Today it’s a dormitory for New York–area college students, who conveniently can access the hotel’s eponymous liquor store right downstairs.”

    I corrected the article, with the info about 111 Hicks and 60 Pineapple, for which they thanked me.