Jake Hafner, the owner of 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar
(1913 Park Avenue
) and a sommelier for whom there's no appropriate superlative, signed on the dotted line yesterday with his good friend Jeff Stettner.
After nearly eight years in business, Hafner's stowing away his corkscrew and selling Stettner the Lafayette Square wine bar known not only for its deep selection of electic wines but also for Hafner's cheerful refusal to market the place. (For years the wine bar had no sign...)
Hafner, alas, broke the news to longtime patrons in one of his characteristically cheeky e-mails this morning. The peaceful transition, he says, will take a couple months.
Although I'll need a bottle or two of Jake's choosing to fully absorb the fact that he won't be greeting me come March or April, I'm sure Stettner is up to the challenge. Jake is a finicky fellow with very high standards -- that's why we awarded 33 Best Wine Store
last year -- and swears that Stettner is the right man to lead us through these uncertain times...
Jake also says Stettner already has plans to expand the space, adding a small retail area.
"I can't wait," says Hafner, "to become a customer of the best wine bar in town."