ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca liquor store is set to be sold to a member of the Wegman family, an official said Friday morning.
Northside Wine & Spirits located at 222 Elmira Road is contracted to be bought and operated by Christina O’Hara, Danny Wegman’s stepdaughter.
Jo Natale, vice president of media relations for Wegmans, released the following brief statement about the purchase:
Wegmans has not purchased Northside Wine & Spirits. Christina O’Hara, Danny Wegman’s stepdaughter, has an agreement to purchase Northside Wine & Spirits. Ms. O’Hara’s application for a liquor license must first be approved by the New York State Liquor Authority. If approved, she intends to operate the business in its current location.
Owner Tonia Borow did not return several emails about the purchase and managers at the store decline to comment.
General manager Dana Malley was one of several Ithaca wine merchants to speak out against a Wegmans expansion in October that many believed would become a liquor store.
Wegmans was accused by local vendors of setting up multiple liquor stores that essentially function as chains — even though liquor stores in New York are technically forbidden from setting up chains. The stores are run members of the Wegmans family, as opposed to the company.
Writes The Buffalo News of the liquor store connected with the Wegmans there:
“It’s right on the Wegmans lot on Amherst Street. It shares parking with Wegmans. It’s co-owned by a member of the Wegman family. Even the signs announcing that it’s “Opening Winter 2014” are in Wegmans-style font.
But “Amherst St. Wine & Liquor” is not Wegmans. That would be illegal…
…A handful of other independent liquor stores have opened in or near Wegmans-owned shopping plazas. In most cases, they’re owned or co-owned by members of the Wegman family.
Century Dewitt Wine & Spirits, which opened in 2009 in the Syracuse area, is owned by Christopher O’Donnell, who is married to Colleen Wegman, president of Wegmans Food Market, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.
Earlier this year, Johnson City Liquor & Wine opened in the Binghamton area. “Located next to Wegmans Food Markets,” its website advertises. It is owned by Danny Wegman’s son-in-law, Jason S. Wehle, according to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.
Feature photo courtesy of Northside Wine & Spirits Facebook page.