Wine superstore Total Wine & More plans to open a store in West Hartford’s Corbin’s Corner shopping center in 2016.
By Ronni Newton
The space recently occupied by a Spirit Halloween pop-up store will soon be filled with thousands of other types of spirits, as well as thousands of brands of wine and beer.
Total Wine & More plans to open its fourth Connecticut store at 1451 New Britain Ave. in Corbin’s Corner, in the space left vacant when Office Depot closed in November 2014.
“We’re hoping to open up sometime in the spring [of 2016],” a manager at the Manchester Total Wine & More store said Wednesday. He said the store will likely be larger than the Manchester store, but did not know the exact square footage. A call to the Total Wine & More corporate office in Delaware has not yet been returned.
According to the Total Wine & More website, most stores stock “8,000 different wines from every wine-producing region in the world, including more than 2,000 wines not available in any other store. The typical Total Wine & More also carries more than 2,500 beers, from America‘s most popular brands to hard-to-find microbrews and imports, and more than 3,000 different spirits in every style and price range.”
Total Wine & More’s website state that the company differentiates itself not just by having a large product selection, but also by employing “Total Wine Professionals” who have been trained extensively and have learned about many of the wines firsthand through visits to wine producers.
The Corbin’s Corner shopping center is a Special Development District, and West Hartford Director of Community Services Mark McGovern said that Total Wine & More will be applying for an amendment to the SDD to do some upgrades to the storefront’s façade.
West Hartford has restrictions that apply to package stores, including the distance they must be from schools and parks, and the Corbin’s Corner location is in compliance with that ordinance, McGovern said.
The state regulates the number of liquor permits available to each town based on population, and McGovern said that several were still available for West Hartford. When a package store applies for a license from the state it must demonstrate that it meets all of the town’s requirements.
“The Town verified that this is in compliance with all zoning regulations,” McGovern said. There are no other zoning implications, and the only reason for the SDD amendment is the cosmetic changes to the exterior, he said.
Until a change was made to Connecticut law in 2015, a single operator could only own three liquor stores. That restriction was increased to four as of July 1, 2015, and as of July 1, 2016, each operator will be permitted to own five stores.
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