Savoy Wines will close at the end of the year. That’s what fans of the bottle shop on West Anapamu Street learned in their email box this morning, when a letter from manager Bob Wesley and owner Paul Shields announced a 15% sale on everything for Friday and Saturday.
“There’s obviously a broad array of tasty vino on the planet, and we’ve been pleased to introduce you to an abundance of our favorites over the last two and a half years,” they wrote. “[H]owever, today we must announce that Savoy Wines will be closing in December.”
The shop was opened in June 2017 by Shields, who also owns Savoy Cafe. He enlisted the curatorial and management services of Wesley, a renowned wine retailer who previously ran The Winehound and the beverage department at Lazy Acres.
Wesley believes that the shop wasn’t able to reach sales targets because it opened six months before the Thomas Fire, which was quickly followed by 1/9 Debris Flow. “Honestly, I don’t know if the town ever really recovered economically from that,” said Wesley, who hears reports from sales reps that even the busy restaurants aren’t ordering wine like they used to. “I hate to lay it all on that, but it’s like somebody flipped a switch during the fire and mud disaster and we just haven’t recovered from that string of events.”
Shields, meanwhile, believes the competition from online wine retailers is also to blame. Wesley agrees, but feels there will always be a place for brick-and-mortar bottle shops.
“I’m ashamed to say I’m an Amazon shopper myself,” admitted Wesley. “But I’ve always felt that wine is a much more personal thing. People want affirmation that wine is good. When you walk in here, there are a lot of things you may not recognize, but we are here to explain it. That personal connection will always be important.” He is currently exploring his next career move.
In tune with Black Friday, everything in the shop — save for some very high-priced bottles — will be 15 percent off this Friday and Saturday. They will also be reaching out to their wine club members to pick up shipments and for people with gift cards to use them up before they close at the end of the year. After this weekend’s sale, they will reassess what deals they plan to offer in the month to come.
18 W Anapamu St.; (805) 962-5353