One of New Canaan’s best-established anchor businesses is set to open Friday in a brand-new, open, naturally lit and highly visible commercial space on Elm Street.
Stewarts Spirits in moving across the parking lot from Walter Stewart’s Market, has doubled its floor space, according to New Canaan brothers Doug and Alex Stewart, great-grandsons of Walter and Nellie Stewart.
“We are really excited,” Doug Stewart said as he joined store manager John Robinson and others stocking the tall shelves and wide new refrigerator at 215 Elm St.
“It’s been a lot of work, and the work has paid off. We’re excited to open. We should be ready to go in the morning. John and his team are super excited.”
The new 1,623-square-foot space features a barrel vaulted ceiling, hardwood floors, extensive interior brickwork, exposed vents and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Alex Stewart said the larger space allows the 1974-established Stewarts Spirits to “lay out the store the way we want it, merchandise it the way we want it.”
“We can focus on certain wines and beers and liquors that we didn’t have the opportunity to really spotlight or showcase [before]. It’s going to be a great experience for our customers coming in here. The people that have popped in have had really good responses. People have been very surprised by the feel of the store.”
He added: “We had a great selection in the other spot, but it was a very compressed space and it was very difficult to see everything we had. So this has given us the chance to open things up and merchandise things a lot better and make an easier shopping experience.”
It’s also still a seamless experience to shop at the market and wine shop together—customers are invited to park at either business to shop both, and there’s a ramp from the market’s lot to the front door of the new wine ship.
“We are not losing any of the synergy between Walter Stewart’s and Stewarts Spirits,” Doug Stewart said.
The new shop on Saturday will host a local cigar roller from Connecticut Cigar Company as well as Litchfield Distillery bourbon, he said, and will start holding more wine tastings.