Something new is afoot in the local world of spirits.

An award-winning bartender, music professional and Staples High School grad has taken over the permit for the former Purple Feet liquor store -- one of the 10 allowed in town.

Owner Paul Sherman plans to open Westport Wine & Spirits open the first week in April at 877 Post Road East, across from the Sherwood Island Connector. A former deejay and record producer, he intends to incorporate his love of music into his new venture.

"I'm opening Connecticut's first music-themed wine and liquor store," he said.

Sherman, who was named an Iron Bartender by Fairfield Weekly for his work at Tengda Asian Bistro in Westport, takes pride in creating craft cocktails.

"Craft is being very creative and kind of making up unique recipes," he said. He hopes to share that knowledge with customers, along with his enthusiasm for wine and spirits.

Along with a comprehensive selection of wines, Sherman will offer a large craft beer section, a range of scotch and bourbon liquors, and a wine-tasting area.

"I want people to really feel comfortable when they walk in the door," he said. "I want this place to be alive."

Westport Wine & Spirits, 877 Post Road East, open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. For information, call 203-222-WINE or visit