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The Scoop: Passing the torch

January 27th 10:01am, 2009

We’ve heard the whispers for months now, but 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar owner Jake Hafner confirmed the news today that he is selling the Lafayette Square spot. New owner Jeff Stettner is in the process of obtaining a liqour license and will take the reins once that process is complete. While Hafner says that much of 33’s relaxed vibe will stay the same, he also notes that Stettner has a few changes planned, including an expansion that will provide room for a small retail shop.

In an e-mail announcing the news, Hafner thanked the shop’s customers: “I sincerely thank you for letting me serve you at 33, for making it part of your life. For showing up when you desired a drink and when you were celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, solemn when you remembered friends passing and all those places in between. For letting me provide a place to share your life.”

The ownership transition is expected to occur with little fanfare, and Hafner’s fans will have the chance to say farewell: He will remain behind the bar for some time to help the new ownership learn the ropes.

By Katie O’Connor

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6 Responses to “The Scoop: Passing the torch”

  1. Jim Says:
    January 27th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    This is unfortunate, as I know Jake was part of the draw to 33. I loved buying package wine from him…One time, I visited to buy a case of various reds. I told him my preferences, price range per bottle, etc. Of the 12 he picked, there was only 1 I had tried before…and all but 1 are now on my repeat purchase list. He’s a truly nice guy, and I wish him the best in the future, whatever that may hold.

  2. Andrew Traughber Says:
    January 27th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Certainly the most interesting (and IMHO the best) wine and beer list in St. Louis, bar or restaurant. Hats off to Jake and the gang and best of luck in future endeavors!

    And a toast to the next chapter of 33!

  3. Tim Foley Says:
    January 27th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    In my opinion 33 has had the best wine list in St. Louis for years. I’m sure that Jake wouldn’t sell if he didn’t know 33 was going to good hands. Best of luck to Jake and to 33!

  4. Jill Duncan Says:
    January 27th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I am have to say I am shocked and a bit saddened by this bit of news but I know that Jake would only do what is best for him and would only sell to someone that will follow up with as much dedication that he put into this honorable establishment. I have always spread the word that 33 has the best wine and beer list in town but much more than that: a place to stop by anytime you need wine, dedication and reliable service with big heart. I will miss knowing everytime I stopped by 33 that I would see Jake behind the bar, ready to please which was always more than enough. I’ll miss you, Jake, thanks for all you have done for the St. Louis wine scene!

  5. robin connelly Says:
    January 31st, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    From 9/11, to my daughters 21st birthday and hundreds of times in between, I found myself at 33. Jake was always there, with a smile and a suggestion for a great glass of wine. I am sad and I hope Jake stays in the area, our community is a better place with him in it!

  6. M. Harris Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    So happy to hear we can still get a good glass of vino at 33 Wine Shop. We’ll miss Jake.

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