Oct. 24, 2013 By Christian Murray
Several Sunnyside mom & pop liquor stores banded together recently and blocked a large competitor from moving into the neighborhood.
The small stores were concerned that the entrance of “Sunny Side Wine & Liquor Warehouse” – which was about to move into 45-24 46th Street—would put them out of business. They claimed that the proposed 5,000 sqft store—coupled with the existence of Lowery Liquors ( a large store)—would sink them.
The small liquor stores—led by the attorney for High Spirits Wine & Liquors (located at 44-18 Greenpoint Ave.)—took their case to the State Liquor Authority and called on the governing body to deny the new-comer a liquor license.
The small stores won. The Commissioner of the State Liquor Authority denied the application saying the “size of the [new] store is overwhelming compared to the size of the existing stores.”
With the denial, the space on 45-24 46th Street has just become vacant. The landlord is looking for one large tenant—or two smaller tenants—to occupy the space.
(SEE COMPLETE FOOTAGE FROM STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY HEARING Go to 3:00 minutes within video)
The big guys come along and try to crush the small independant stores. Next you are dealing with a cashier instead of an owner- a few cents cheaper but a generic experience. I guess it matters more if you buy a lot of alcohol- I stick to beer. If I need a bottle of something, I have the mom&pop on Greenpoint or Lowery- more than enough for me. But I wonder what kind of shop will work on 46th? There are some nice ideas but what will sell?
Yeah, the liquor stores in Astoria are far superior overall to Sunnyside
Another really good wine store is Astoria Wine and Spirits, 34-12 Broadway. They have an excellent selection and are quite knowledgeable too. Right next door, the owners also operate Astoria Bier and Cheese, which is also worth visiting.
It is not for any of us to say if the space could be put to better use. It is private property. A state agency is interfering with interstate trade to protect one business at the expense of another one, not to mention the public. I could not see the state pulling a stunt like this with any other business.
Not much of a story. We already have Lowery’s, an very good liquor store, just a few blocks away. That space could be put to better use.
Wow… a cartel banding together to prevent competition? That’s kind of icky.
I’m done with all the stores other than Lowery. This is particularly egregious of the SLA since there was a liquor store on that block for nearly 50 years. If you can’t beat em sue em. What a joke. State government at it’s worst.
What about a book store?
I used to live in south Florida. The liquor stores there would give you cups filled with ice along with your purchase. It’s all about service!
Whites are officially the minority in NY…
Big business does this all the time. They have congress and the senate in their back pockets and they pass laws that benefit them and screw their smaller competitors who can’t afford lobbyists.
How about another restaurant? Sunnyside needs more restaurants.
i like it!!1
@ Local Hamburglar – if that is a fascinating story, you need to get out more…
mom and pop stores suck, they are over priced and rarely carry a good selection. Why should I care to support them? do they offer health insurance to their workers? I say bring WallMart over here to Sunnyside , I’ll be one happy camper.
Fascinating story! Thank you so much for enlightening us all of your mundanely puritanical day to day.
irish alone coulda kept 50 liqour stores afloat, no problem!!
I’ve been getting wine at Table Wine in Jackson Heights. The owners, residents of Sunnyside, and their staff are very knowledgeable about wine. The store is small, clean, charming with great personal service and the wines are selected to be affordable.
dirty. if they weren’t dirty.
I’m all for neighborhood shops but what happened to this country that you can now legally prevent competition?
LIC has wonderful, clean and competitive stores.
Too bad they don’t have Total Wine in NY (at least I don’t think so). The most amazing liquor store I’ve ever been to. Unless your looking for something completely obscure they probably have it. And the prices are out of this world good
I wish I could own a business where I could sue someone for offering a better selection at a lower price.
When we do buy liquor, which is rare, we purchase from the liquor store at Costco, after we go shopping at Costco. Great beer prices too. No issues for us…
You used to be able to buy clothes on Greenpoint. How about a family clothing store?
High Spirits is actually my go-to place for wines and liqour, but I totally agree with Sunnysider. I was really looking forward to the new and improved liquor store.
With the exception of Lowerys’, they aren’t very good. Even High Spirits… well its just sorta dirty and small.
I love the mom and pop stores in Sunnyside. You guys who think that those places are over priced need to get out more.
I’m all for mom and pop stores, but this is pretty stupid, especially since the mom and pop liquor stores around there are dirty and suck for the most part. Lowery’s is good, but far from this area and slightly overpriced. I was actually looking forward to it. Oh well, hope they use the space for something useful
This is HORRIBLE. This intervention will just keep competition for The People’s business down and liquor prices up.
Consumers lose again. More competition usually brings lower prices and more discounts.
That is such a low move. They must have some connections or paid off the right person on the licensing board.
Why don’t the mom and pop places rent the space? The better location will mean more business and cover the higher rent.
I would never shop at these Mom and Pop liquor stores again. They don’t want to compete with anyone who can offer a wider selection.
Boy I wish I knew I could have done this!
I’m kind of glad these small stores took legal action and had success. I wasn’t even aware of the fact that there were several “Mom & Pop” stores; I’m only familiar with the one on Greenpoint. It serves its purpose well and there’s no visible need for a big grocery-store type of operation two blocks away. It would quickly put the little store out of business. Hard to imagine what sort of business will do well in this big space, though.
I know right? , burp
Glad we have a handful of locations in our neighborhood for AA meetings!
lord knows sunnyside doesn’t need more alcohol….there should be some kind of campaign to sober up this neighborhood.
just my two cents worth.