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May 27, 2015 11:26 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Local Stores Oppose Proposal For Citarella Liquor Store In Southampton Village

The application for liqour license in the window of Citarella in Southampton Village.
May 27, 2015 11:26 AM

Owners of Citarella told Southampton Village on Tuesday night that they want to open a separate wine shop, using the rear portion of the Hampton Road market.

Local business owners, who had learned of the proposal before the Village Board meeting, showed up to urge the village to reject the idea and oppose Citarella’s pending application before the State Liquor Authority.

In its application submitted to the SLA on March 13, Citarella proposes to section off 1,500 square feet at the back of the current store and convert it into a liquor store called Citarella Wines—although the application is specifically for a license for a liquor store, not a wine store only.

At a Village Board meeting on Tuesday night, John Noonan, the co-owner of Herbert and Rist Liquor on Jobs Lane, asked the Village Board to write the SLA and oppose the license, saying it would hurt local business. Village trustees did not comment during the meeting. Village Mayor Mark Epley was not present.

“I know this board has seen things come through this village that they are not happy about,” Mr. Noonan said. “I know that you have tried to stop other businesses from coming in and stepping on the little local guys—and you have a chance to do that here. You have a chance to write a letter to the State Liquor Authority and tell them that you are unhappy with this application. That would go a long way.”

According to the SLA website, the application for Citarella Wines LLC is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, June 2, in the Manhattan office of the SLA. Anyone wishing to comment on the application must submit a letter or email by Thursday at noon to secretarys.office@sla.ny.gov, or call (518) 474-3114.

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Noonan said that he was only aware that the application even existed because under state law the four nearest liquor stores must be notified when a new liquor license application is filed. In this case, he noted, the affected stores are his, Zabi’s Wine and Liquor, Lamplighter Wines & Liquors, and Bottle Hampton. All four businesses, he said, will protest the application.

Calls to Citarella and the New York SLA were not immediately returned on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday morning, Southampton Village Administrator Stephen Funsch said to his knowledge the village had not been notified of any potential changes to the Citarella storefront, but that they would need to go through the Village Building Department.

On Wednesday morning, Deputy Mayor Richard Yastrzemski said based on preliminary information he is opposed to the project, saying the village does not need another liquor store. He also added that when Citarella’s was approved, the space was granted a single use permit, so the liquor store would not be an as of right request and would have to go through village channels for approval.

“Personally, listening to people so far, it plays into the hands of all the opponents in the first place—you give an inch, they take a mile,” he said. “These are local businesses, our small-town businesses, and that’s what guys like me are here to protect. They have a business and a niche. I don’t think another one is necessary in that proximity.”

Election Times Changed

Due to uncontested races for two trustee seats and for mayor, Southampton Village will shorten the time polls are open by three hours.

The election is now scheduled for Friday, June 19, from noon to 9 p.m. Trustees Nancy McGann and Bill Hattrick, and Mayor Mark Epley, are all seeking another two-year term. Votes can be cast at the Cultural Center on Pond Lane.

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Great idea!! I mean I love Rist and will continue to support them but the convenience of picking up a bottle of wine with your dinner is brilliant --if the pirces are reasonable of course e.g. I never buy beer at Citarella's because the mark-up is highway robbery. NYS really needs to get on board with selling wine in grocery stores in general. It's been long overdue. What's the objection exactly?
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on May 27, 15 11:42 AM
This is a free country. You can't just stop someone else from opening a store because it provides competition to your store, that is ridiculous. Competition keeps everyone honest and that is good for the consumer. You need to learn how to stay relevant if you want a successful business. You can't just hang an "open" sign out front and decide no competition is allowed to open.
By SHResident (59), Southampton on May 27, 15 11:54 AM
3 members liked this comment
It's not a "free" country to do whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want. There are laws and there are zoning rules. In NY state, a liquor store must be owned by a person and the licensee must live nearby and hold no other liquor licenses. That means that Citarella is looking to do what Trader Joe's has done -- opened one liquor store in the entire state of NY (though the TJ store only sells wine). But the Trader Joe's wine shop on 14th St. is not part of the Trader Joe grocery store ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on May 27, 15 11:32 PM
Obviously you have to comply with state liquor laws. If you read my comment though it's entirely about other businesses complaining about competition. Not about freedom to disregard the law.
By SHResident (59), Southampton on May 28, 15 7:14 AM
Considering the parking and traffic congestion in the village a liquor store at that location makes a lot of sense. I don't know that the pricing will be competitive though.
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on May 27, 15 3:17 PM
Costco Riverhead has outstanding prices and selection of beer and wine.
By chairmanoftheBORED (12), Southampton on May 27, 15 7:19 PM
That is EHP Liquor store. Costco holds no liquor licenses in the state of NY. Those stores are separate businesses from Costco and are outside the walls of Costco's market, but the owners of the liquor store lease space from Costco.
By btdt (449), water mill on May 27, 15 11:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Maybe Citarella could clean up the front of their building so pedestrians could pass on the sidewalk which is public property.
If they wanted a wine store why did they apply for a single use?
Give an inch they take a mile!
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on May 28, 15 7:50 AM
Excellent point. Give them wine and next it will be something else. Think their food sucks anyway.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on May 28, 15 11:24 AM
2 members liked this comment
Great store love this place...
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on May 28, 15 11:47 AM
I agree the food is not the greatest and they can't even get it together to make a decent iced tea and serve it with lemon!
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on May 28, 15 12:06 PM
try citi field they have a great iced tea that should fit your budget, also try the bitter grape soda
By Erin 27 E (1281), hampton bays on May 28, 15 8:37 PM
Golden Pear and the Cheese Shop, or whatever ithe new name is, have great iced tea.
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on May 29, 15 2:26 PM
I eat there everyday very relaxing and the food choices are very appealing
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on May 28, 15 12:10 PM
... the food looks better than it is.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on May 28, 15 4:31 PM
2 members liked this comment
You can never have too many wine stores-more choices.

By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 28, 15 5:59 PM
I get the sense that the Southampton Citarella isn't doing well. Always empty when I'm there which admittedly isn't often, so understandable that they need to find a way to draw in customers. One can only imagine the waste when the outsized displays have no buyers. I agree with other posters that their take-out food isn't good. In fact, I'd say it's dreadful. And it's supposed to be a gourmet market? As a comparison, check out the EXCELLENT take-out of Uncle Guiseppe's, a supermarket!, ...more
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on May 28, 15 7:52 PM
your nuts the place is amazing, i cant afford to shop there everyday but wow! what a great store. do you own schmidt's or somthing ?
By Erin 27 E (1281), hampton bays on May 28, 15 8:33 PM
No, don't own (unsanitary) Schmidt's. Ever look at the bottom of their refrigerated display cases where their lettuces are displayed? Disgusting. And someone who's been downstairs where their food prep is done told me having seen it, they'd never eat their prepared foods.
Apparently you don't know good food from bad and need to widen your horizons to find out what a great market is. Ever been to Zabar's in Manhattan? Or Grace's Marketplace? Or the Italian stores on Arthur Avenue in the ...more
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on May 28, 15 10:19 PM
oh so its the cost you do not like.
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on May 28, 15 11:36 PM
Well thank you, we Balducci's have been at it a very long time, Grace's Marketplace, Eataly, Baldor - all owners are Balducci's next generation.
By terria (1), riverside on Jun 1, 15 7:48 AM
best prepared food is round swamp in bridgehampton (and EH) cleanest store ever
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on May 29, 15 3:40 PM
yes yes... and let me guess you miss the IGA and Southampton Waldbaum's
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on May 30, 15 6:38 AM
The tables on the sidewalk in fornt of the store make the sidewalk to tight. I dont think it would even comply with ADA laws. They should not have a liquor store. Now with Starbucks across the street they might as well tuirn Hampton Road into grass and make it a park. You cant drive down it anymore....
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on May 31, 15 8:31 AM
Shame on them for being so successful
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on May 31, 15 10:31 PM
Don't you ever get tired of that idiotic victim argument?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 31, 15 11:14 PM
Pleeease... a business should not have to apologize for being so successful that main street is busy
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Jun 1, 15 8:38 AM
It is still the business district and IMO Joe is right, " A business should not have to apologize for being so successful that main street busy"

If you don't like it take 39, or i suppose you could move to Moriches if you don't like the hustle and bustle
Jun 9, 15 4:17 PM appended by Undocumented Democrat
After doing a bit of research your oppinions seem a bit filp floppy.......... Some opposition to proposed farmers market in Southampton What has gotten into Schmidt? Does he think he has a monopoly on selling fruits and veges in the village? My advice to you Mr. Schmidt is to be happy with the windfall your currently making and don't worry about a little competition. Toughin up!"......... 7-Eleven quietly moving into Montauk Come on NIMBY'S lighten up. It's a 7-11 not a strip club. " Jul 19, 10 8:42 AM............ Tuckahoe Building Owners Withdraw 7-Eleven Application Why don't they go open a 7-11 in oyster bay and stay out of s.h. We don't need any more up the isle developers looking to come out here and make a buck. As far as the above comment asking for an Applebees. That's just what we need around here, some crap restaurant chain to make us just like riverhead. " Apr 9, 11 6:50 AM ???
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Jun 9, 15 4:17 PM
Emperor Epley again running unchallenged. Coronation film at 11.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jun 3, 15 6:30 AM
Hampton Road has become an accident waiting to happen! The Mayor said he didn't want a Star Bucks, it is there! The parking on and around Hampton Road is almost none existent! People who do not drive much, like the city summer people, just back out without even looking!! It has become a dangerous street to drive down!
By bayview (160), Southampton on Jun 5, 15 10:26 AM
It was impossible to deny Starbucks after the Emperor greased the way for Citarella , even changing the parking scheme to favor that establishment. Way to go Village residents.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jun 6, 15 8:33 AM