NY’s loss is Downers Grove’s yummy-alcohol-gain

For Sam’s Wine and Spirits, it’s Downers Grove over N.Y.

One answer about why Sam’s Wine and Spirits is making its first expansion to the western suburbs can be found in the store’s Lincoln Park shipping room.

Boxes of wine are stacked to the ceiling awaiting shipment to customers in Hinsdale, Geneva, Naperville, Western Springs and Forest Park, along with numerous other communities across the United States.

Widespread telephone and Internet orders have helped make Sam’s the largest volume wine and spirits store in the United States. This year, it expects to book $60 million in sales and employs 150 people.

Absent, however, are large numbers of boxes bound for New York City, where Fred Rosen and his sons had planned to make their first foray away from what has been their only location, tucked behind the new retail district along Clybourn Avenue, north of North Avenue.

“We put New York on hold because we’re like farm boys. It’s much harder to deal with the people there. It’s not like Chicago,” said Rosen, 67, who has handed day-to-day operations of the store over to his sons.

Sam’s Wines, if you’ve never been there, is an awesome store. Its only problem to date is that its a fair trip into the city for me to shop there. However, every time I’ve gone, I’ve not been disappointed. Also, its nice that its located right next to the Goose Island Brew Pub.

On those times I haven’t made the drive, Binny’s has fit the bill. The guys from Sam’s claims they aren’t doing it to compete with Binny’s, and I’ll accept that at face value. However, it’ll be interesting to see Sam’s give Binny’s a run for their money out in the burbs.

Downers Grove is getting all sorts of interesting places. First Fry’s, now Sam’s. I wonder what’s next.