Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Christopher-LaVine wine shop opens today in Troy

Putting finishing touches on the exterior.
TROY -- The latest downtown project from Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine opened for business today. It's Twenty-Two 2nd Street Wine Company, a boutique wine shop.

The new business, which had a 3 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled, is located just up the street from their flagship business, the Charles F. Lucas Confectionery Wine Bar at 12 2nd Street. They also own and operate the restaurant/bar Peck's Arcade and, upstairs, The Tavern, around the corner on Broadway, and are reworking their short-lived specialty market, which shares patio space with the wine bar, to become a casual restaurant.

In every instance, the couple took vacant, crumbling buildings and restored them to house viable commercial operations. In the process, they became the city's leading proponents and practitioners of rescuing once-proud structures that have fallen into disrepair.

Their efforts are being emulated by a number of enterprising small-business owners, such as Sarah Fish's ultra-eclectic Annie Patterson's Fancy Shop on Congress Street, Emily Petersen's recently-opened  Sentinel Butchery in a River Street building that was home to a newspaper in the first half of the 19th Century, and Cory Nelson's in-progress rehabbing of the old Pioneer supermarket building on 4th Street to become a multi-vendor food court.

From the outside, Twenty-Two 2nd Street Wine Company looks little like a retail shop. The building, believed to be one of the oldest in the city, once was a private residence, but had been vacant for years. It suffered water damage and other forms of deterioration that necessitated wholesale renovations, but now sports a new interior and a fresh coat of eye-catching yellow exterior paint.

LaVine is running the shop, with her first shipments of wine just arriving. When fully stocked, she expects to keep an inventory of 125 to 150 wines, with prices beginning at about $7 a bottle. The portfolio will include domestic labels as well as others from Europe, many from small, organic producers. The intent is to have reasonably priced wines that are not usually seen  in local shops. 

Phone: 874-1244.

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