John and Jay Leake are a father & son team making furniture in rural York, South Carolina (about 25 miles or so outside of Charlotte, NC). Leakes is a 4th generation business that started in the 1950’s as an antique dealer and has evolved into a custom furniture business. I could go on and on about John and Jay. But let’s keep it simple-I was fortunate enough to get the chance to visit them last week and they showed me what southern hospitality is all about. From lunch at a local restaurant to a great tour of their shop and showroom. Real southern hospitality, food, and company.
Anyway, the Leakes make a beautiful southern cellarette that I wanted to share with you. A cellarette is, in essence, a liquor cabinet with a pull out tray to pour on and a space for glasses. This design is specific to the south in general, and specifically a region covering parts of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. It is a two piece design and the box on top comes off the base so that the bottles can be filled and loaded from barrels (traditionally, liquor was stored in barrels in the basement and decanters were filled as needed). The primary wood is solid walnut with poplar as the secondary. The piece is hefty-a full 7/8″ thick, with handcut dovetails and inlay-of course. Each piece is delivered by John and/or Jay and even comes with that a starter for your liquor collection-you can see it right in the picture. By the way-I highly recommend the contents of the jar.