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Friday
Aug092013

Liquor Store Coming to 487 Fifth Avenue, Amazing Ancient Signage Revealed

A liquor store is in the works at 487 Fifth Avenue, between 11th and 12th Streets. A permit has been filed to renovate the space, and a notice on the front door notes that it's been issued to a company named Acme Liquors. The storefront was last home to a salon called Hair Designs by Julie, and has been vacant since February of 2012.

More interestingly, signage for the old salon came down, and lo and behold there's an amazing relic that's been preserved underneath. The whole storefront has been essentially unchanged for decades, down to the black and white tile below the window, and the top left pane of glass still clearly reads "BUTTER EGGS CHEESE," remnants of an old market that, from the looks of it, appears to have been installed in the 20s or 30s. Lettering on the pane next to it is slightly less legible, but advertises "HOMEMADE SALADS."

Any regular visitor to this site knows that I have a major soft spot for ghost signage, which isn't revealed too often in this neighborhood, even though there are plenty of old storefronts to go around and a relatively high turnover. The most recent ghost signage to be uncovered was up on the north end of the avenue, where the old hand-painted sign for a meat market was revealed when Trade Winds Furniture gave way to the new Duke of Montrose bar.

That sign, which most likely dated from the 50s, didn't survive the transition, but it wasn't exactly in great shape. This one is so classically historic, though, and the lettering (most of it, at least) is in near-perfect condition after at least 75 years. It would be a shame if one day soon it's trashed to make way for a liquor store.

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Reader Comments (15)

Since the photo you took above is old and the storefront is now painted a nice fresh shiny black, it looks as though the signage is staying.

Great to have a wine/liquor store in this area. This block has made more of a transition in the last 3 years than any other block in Park Slope.

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRick

^^There's a wine/liquor store on 5th Avenue between 8th and 9th Street and then one on 5th between 14th and 15th Streets.

love the old signage, hope it stays!

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

Neither of those have a good wine selection, I'm praying this one does.

The best and closest is the one across from JJ Byrne but that's a bit of a walk. Otherwise I go to 7th ave as there are 3 really nice wine stores up there.

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRick

sounds like they're going to keep it http://southslopenews.com/blog/business/wine-shop-construction-reveals-ghost-signs-at-487-5th-avenue

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterslark pope

Yep and South Slope news even talked to the owner.

I knew I read they were keeping this signage somewhere I just didn't want to rub it in that it was 10 days ago on another blog. ;)

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Hmm, odd, the one on 15th Street sells a huge selection of wines from cheap to fancy. the one by JJ Byrne to me at least, has a limited selection of only certain wines. Oh well

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

Limited, but they're all good and handpicked by the owner, Leigh. She knows her stuff, especially if you're pairing your wine with dinner. Her suggestions are always spot on.

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

I too am looking forward to a better selection of wines near by. Currently I go to Big Nose Full Body on 7th, which I do really like, its just a longer walk in a pinch.

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLydia Robertson

It's difficult to ascertain exactly how old that sign is because the space was a delicatessen for decades, at the very least from the 1920s through the 1980s.

It was listed in the phone book under different names in different eras, however, as follows:

1920s John Frudden, delicatessen
1930s to 1950s Henry Kaehler, delicatessen
1960s George Mahr, delicatessen
1970s and 1980s Thomas Glasgow / Glasgow's Deli Catering

August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlf

There's a great wine place after the expressway on 19th/5th i think. It's called Adam's I believe. The guy is seriously dedicated to his art. Really friendly Polish guy and his wife run it. I've never been let down by their recommendations.

August 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterexterminator guy

Adam's is overpriced and the selection is straight up odd

August 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterToot

Don't forget about the new shop on 3rd Avenue & 11th Street - Gowanus Wine Merchants.

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