The Cornell and Ithaca community can now enjoy a wide variety of domestic and foreign brands of liquor at Ithaca Wine and Spirits, a new store that opened on Oct. 29. at 327 Eddy St. in Collegetown.
Owner George Papachryssanthou — an Ithaca native who grew up on Eddy St. — explained that the store was inspired by his time visiting some of the best restaurants in New York City. Papachryssanthou, who has been involved with his family’s restaurant business for years, said he hopes Ithaca Wine and Spirits will provide the community with an opportunity to learn more about wine.
“We have been planning this business for about five years,” he said. “We love the customer interaction, and we wanted to bring a personable experience to the wine business.”
Papachryssanthou added that he named the store Ithaca Wine and Spirits “to be inclusive of the whole community, not just the Cornell community.”
“You are going to come in and you are going to find something from everywhere,” he said. “Wines in this store are reflective of the ownership.”
Although Papachryssanthou said he hopes the store will continue to serve the community with high-quality products and shopping experience, he acknowledged the dangers inherent in operating a liquor store near a college campus. Underage students attempting to use fake ID’s in his store are a “huge liability,” giving him “a huge responsibility,” he said.
Even though the Ithaca Wine and Spirits staff are trained and equipped to spot false identifications, Papachryssanthou said he hopes potential customers will wait until their 21st birthdays to make their first shopping experience at Ithaca Wine and Spirits both safe and memorable.
“We put a lot of capital to opening this store,” he said. “This is our livelihood, so you are putting us at risk by trying to use a fake ID.”
Despite its recent opening, the store has already attracted customers both in and outside the Cornell community.
“It’s pretty exciting to have a place to go to other than Northside Wine and Spirits for quality products,” said Michael Major ’17. “It’s somewhere that I could walk to, other than Collegetown liquor, which has much more limited selections.”
Jake Markowicz, an Ithaca resident, said he is “really excited” about the store’s opening because it will help Ithaca out “by attracting different types of people to the world of wine and spirits.”
Papachryssanthou added that customers so far have ranged from students to Cornell staff.
“We’ve had professors come, staff has visited, and they all seem to be very excited that we are open,” Papachryssanthou said. “So we want our explosion to continue within that Cornell community.”