It’s been over a year since we first told you about it, but now it’s official: a new Fine Wine and Good Spirits is coming, likely by midsummer, to 43rd & Chestnut in University City. Two spots in a shopping center that were last occupied by a check cashing store and Risque Video will be combined into a single retail space for the liquor store. The store will feature a more diverse collection of offerings than many other Pennsylvania State Stores.

Future liquor store

“I think the group who will be most excited about it I think, frankly, are the students at the University of Pennsylvania,” said Barry Grossbach, Spruce Hill Community Association chair.

The group that might be less excited is the folks who contested the opening of the store when it was first announced last year. Those included members of a nearby mosque. The ZBA initially denied the application last spring, which was when Grossbach told Naked Philly the last chapter in this effort had yet to be written. It prompted the SHCA to collect more than 500 signatures in approval of the store. The ZBA reversed its decision last June and now according to Grossbach, interior outfitting of the 5K sqft location has started. According to Grossbach, the store should be open with 90 days.

Shopping center

Soon, grateful West Philly folks who have had to deal with terrible lines at the 50th and Baltimore location since the liquor store closed at 41st & Market over a year ago will have a second option in the general neighborhood. Of course, if we could just deprivatize the sale of wine and liquor in PA, that might solve the problem too. But that’s a conversation for a different day.

–Lou Mancinelli