DEWITT, NY — Tom Greenwood’s attempt to save his 7-year-old suburban winery by adding a full-service wine and liquor store to the property didn’t last long.
Both businesses at 6475 Collamer Road will close permanently on Aug. 28. Greenwood is offering discounts on all its inventory until then.
In June, Greenwood had announced the opening of the wine and liquor store along with his decision not to open the restaurant/bistro this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. The seasonal bistro, which also hosted weddings, bands and other events, had been closed since last fall.
On Friday, Greenwood announced the permanent closing via Facebook:
“After several months of trying to succeed during the pandemic, I have decided to close the winery and liquor store on August 28,” he wrote. “So stock up on some great wines and spirits at huge discounts!”
Greenwood, in a phone interview today, called the coronavirus pandemic “the final nail in the coffin” for the winery. He said the last few years have been “tough.”
“The whole ‘buy local’ business has not been as profitable as you might think for the past few years,” he said. The wine and liquor store was meant to focus on New York state wines and spirits, but “didn’t work out,” he said.
Greenwood will try to find a tenant for the buildings on the 5-acre parcel. He’s not planning to harvest the grapes in the vineyards.
Greenwood continues to run his other business, Greenwood Real Estate, which manages commercial and residential properties.
Greenwood Winery opened in 2013 in a business park Greenwood owns on Collamer Road northeast of Carrier Circle. It made wines sourced from grapes grown in New York regions like the Finger Lakes and Long Island, and with some grapes grown on its own adjacent vineyard.
The bistro opened in August 2014. The property became something of a destination in the eastern suburbs, especially on Friday nights.
Fans and supporters lamented the closing in comments responding to the Facebook announcement:
“Brought my wife there on our first date, we’ve celebrated our anniversary there every year since,” commenter Jamie Moltrup wrote. “Even though the bistro was closed in June, we still went and purchased some wine.”
“Well…..I’m beyond sad,” Claire Tucci-Carfagno respnded. “I was there from the day you opened … such an unbelievable beautiful venue … saw so many people make beautiful memories as well … “dancing on a Friday nite !!! With the best local live music around !!
Michele Loiacono Rourke, whose group Ener-G R&B Showband frequently played at the bistro, also responded.
“(We) are extremely sorry to hear this sad news,” she wrote. “We enjoyed performing at Greenwood Winery and had a wonderful time with the patrons and our fans. Tom was always very gracious to us and we appreciated how well received we were each time we performed. We have wonderful memories of our years there and deep down in our hearts pray that this pandemic is over soon so that there might be a chance to resurrect Friday night live music at Greenwood Winery. Thank you, Tom and staff for always welcoming us with open arms.”