Wine lovers take note — there’s a new store coming to Greenport with a focus on local.
North Fork Crush, located at 122 South Street, will be taking over the former JB Liquors, which closed during the pandemic.
New owners Evan Ducz and Sam Kimball have been busy renovating the space, which has been updated with an airy, light open floor plan.
“We wanted to make people feel comfortable and welcome,” said Ducz, a Greenport resident. “Sometimes that can be missing in wine shops, the hospitality aspect.”
Since there are plenty of wine shops in the area, Ducz and Kimball want North Fork Crush’s shelves to be carefully curated to include a variety of wine and spirits, with a focus on local products.
“Being that this is Greenport, and this is a destination now, it makes sense to cater to the North Fork wineries,” Ducz said. “We want to be different. We’re going to try to straddle the line between [large stock and smaller inventory].”
Ducz may be a familiar face to North Fork wine enthusiasts, having worked at various wineries over the years, including Peconic Bay Vineyards, Palmer Vineyards and Sparkling Pointe. He also worked for Empire State Cellars at Tanger Outlet Center and curated their selection.
“I’ve missed being a buyer,” he said. “It gives you an opportunity to explore so many different wines and spirits, so it was my goal to have my own shop. One of the things that draws me to wine is the exploration of it all. It’s endless.”
Kimball is also a wine industry veteran, having founded Crush Wine Experiences, which produces wine tastings, tours, education and other events. He also plans to implement educational experiences at North Fork Crush.
“You always discover something great when you go to a tasting, whether it’s in a store or at an event,” said Kimball. “A big part of the concept is to infuse this place with that. The whole notion of discovery and education is in the DNA of this place — discovering great wines and spirits, one glass at a time.”
The two are also planning on bringing back the North Fork Crush Artisanal Food & Wine Fair event this summer, which Crush Wine Experience produced.
Ducz and Kimball are currently working on stocking the shelves and plan to open in early March.