Our Story

Image: Four generations of the Zacharia family. From Left to Right: Tom Zacharia (Don’s grandson), Don Zacharia, Jeff Zacharia (Don’s son) and Andrew McMurray (Don’s son-in-law).
Image: Four generations of the Zacharia family. From Left to Right: Tom Zacharia (Don’s grandson), Don Zacharia, Jeff Zacharia (Don’s son) and Andrew McMurray (Don’s son-in-law).

Like all great stories, our story began with a dream.

A young, Polish-born Zachy Zacharia fled his forced conscription in the Russian army, forged his own discharge papers and walked across Europe. Upon arriving in Amsterdam, he boarded a ship, dreaming of a better life at his destination: New York. Shortly after arriving, in 1944 Zachy founded a small store: 16 East Parkway Wine & Liquor House. This family business remained a small operation for over a decade, until Zachy's only son, Don Zacharia, dreamed a dream of his own.

It was while walking the streets of New York City in the 1950s that Don found himself staring wide-eyed at a store which in that moment represented everything he wanted his to be: Sherry-Lehmann. Sherry's tiny but bustling storefront offered a dazzling array of fine wines from around the world, and left Don with a mission of taking 16 East Parkway from a corner liquor store to a cornerstone of the fine wine and spirits industry. His new goal? Create the premier fine wine and spirits retailer in the nation, and do so by offering an exceptional selection, unprecedented access, and exemplary customer service.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Don put his unique stamp on the business, which he renamed "Zachys." A natural writer, Don placed regular advertisements in The New York Times telling city-dwellers to have a break and "Take a Drive to Zachys," where there were always new discoveries on the shelves, and new wines to be tasted. His famous "Zachys Gazette” was as full of short stories about Don's travels and experiences as it was with features and sales.

Image Left: Don Zacharia in the 1960s/ 70s. Image Right: The original 16 East Parkway Wine & Liquor

From the beginning, Don made it part of Zachys’ mission to continue to revolutionize the wine and spirits landscape in the U.S. with the goal of bringing unique experiences and opportunities to our clients. In the 1970s Zachys became the first U.S. retailer to sell "Bordeaux Futures." In the 1980s and 1990s Jeff Zacharia (Don's son), and Andrew McMurray (Don's son-in-law) both joined, adding a third generation to the business. With them came the early adoption of the internet, and Zachys became one of the first wine and spirits retailers to launch a website where clients could browse its entire catalog of thousands of wines and spirits from around the world.

In the mid-1990s, Zachys played a defining role in bringing wine auctions to New York and pioneered the "dine around" concept whereby auctions became as much social events for clients, as they were opportunities to sell or acquire rare wines and spirits.

Today and through our three unique businesses of Retail, Storage, and Auction, Zachys can offer a one-of-a-kind service that covers your wine and spirits journey from discovery, through collection, all the way to consignment. At Zachys, we'll help you discover your new favorite wines and spirits, safekeep them in our state-of-the-art temperature-controlled facility, and perhaps one day, sell them at one of our acclaimed auctions. 

Zachys today encompasses four generations of the Zacharia family. What began as a local retail shop in Scarsdale, NY, has expanded to an international enterprise with operations across three continents! While times have changed, we remain committed to Don’s original vision of bringing you unique and memorable experiences, with humility and exemplary customer service across Retail, Auction, and Storage.