Sunday, February 22, 2009

LeNell Part 3

So the store is packed up, the apartment is trashed after a most enjoyable party, LeNell still has a ton of stuff to do but LeNell's at 416 Van Brunt Street is now officially closed. The space looks forlorn, there is a sign on the door that says 'We've lost our lease at this location but continue to search for the perfect new home. Thanks for almost 6 beautiful years. I have the best customers in the whole wide world, if you would like to keep up with our news then send an email to My heart LeNell.'

The last day of the store was well attended and nearly all her stock got sold, many friends of the store popped in with gifts or amazing nips and drams of whisky. LeNell served one of her legendary punches, played music, hugged people, shouted at people, cried. I also managed to persuade her to take a rather saucy picture to mark the occasion. This in its self was done in typical Smothers style with her happily parading through her shop in some very beautiful underwear (that was designed by a customer who designs knickers for Hustler) and then waving at people as they walked whilst she was buck naked in the bath tub that used to be full of gin. We had her friend and professional photographer Scott Baker on hand to take the pics.

I asked LeNell what she had learnt. She said that its important to have a good accountant and lawyer, she had tried to do both on her own when she opened the store and she now realises that she can't do everything by herself. Her store was the coming together of lots of different elements and a large dash of magic. LeNell mused on her identity being so wrapped up with the store but in fact LeNell is far more known now for her character, bourbon knowledge and adventurous spirit than any building. LeNell feels that due to her virgo nature she often has tunnel vision especially when in pursuit of a goal. Losing the lease reminded her that life is about people and that nothing exists without them, a lot of people gave their time and energy to her store and her business over the last 6 years and she could never have done it without them.

The following evening she had a small gathering which was entitled 'LeNell's send off to the world of the uncut cock'. Friends and customers gathered at her home to enjoy more punch, lots of bacon, bourbon cake, vintage porn cartoons and a jeroboam of champagne which she sabered out on the street. She also debuted her new stripper thigh high boots which will be travelling to London and Amsterdam with her.

There will be a new LeNell's in the future and she will be putting a new space to even better use, for now she is off to Europe to travel, learn and clear her head and heart, she is also going to the Whisky Live Icons of Whisky awards to pick up her third award 'US Retailer of the year single outlet'.  There will be more on travels with LeNell soon, if you're in Portobello on the 4th March come down the Star for Lady and the Tramp (you will be surprised as to whose who) to see LeNell and myself making drinks under the watchful eye of Jake Burger.

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