While mocktails and zero-proof alternatives have been on a steady rise, Michael Pabon and Eric Yarbrough have decided to stick to the spirituous classics, though with a twist. Over the weekend, their new co-owned shop La Même Chose opened at 364 Leonard Street and it’s as much of a wine and liquor store as it is an educational space for both enthusiasts and curious drinkers alike.
La Même Chose is an LGBTQ-owned boutique business selling fine wines alongside unique spirits, with an emphasis on carefully curated small-batch selections, particularly brands and blends that are queer-, BIPOC-, or women-owned. Their offerings span varietals sourced from France, Italy, Chile, New Zealand, and beyond and include liquors like Cuvée Pic-Pic artisanal gin (described by the shop on Instagram as “creamy,” but also recommended for a solid martini) and Red Hook-based Van Brunt Stillhouse whiskey.
The shop also features a detailed wine map highlighting different global regions and the wines that they provide, but the education doesn’t stop there. Pabon, Yarbrough, and La Même Chose’s intimate staff are all passionate about their craft and on hand to share recommendations and knowledge, including being a community resource for those looking to learn more about working in the wine and spirit industry.
The business — taking over from a bodega previously in the space — was a work in progress for a bit over a year as they built the shop essentially from scratch with a full renovation. However, it was only earlier this month that their liquor license went into effect and their first wine shipment finally arrived. Pabon and Yarbrough, who both wear and have worn many different hats professionally, celebrated the occasion with a grand opening on Saturday, November 11, with charcuterie, cheese, wine tasting, and branded shop swag.
La Même Chose is open Sunday through Tuesday from 12 to 9 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 12 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 12 to 11 p.m.