NEWINGTON - The business community has welcomed a new addition to the plaza at the corner of Route 175 and Main Street. Modern Wine & Spirits officially opened the doors to its shop at 18 Cedar Street last week, in a storefront that had been vacant for nearly a decade.
Husband and wife owners Anand and Asma Palani celebrated the opening of their second package store alongside new customers and members of the Newington Chamber of Commerce. The couple, who live in West Hartford, also owns Gillette Ridge Wines in Bloomfield.
“It’s been very well received; people are happy,” Anand said following the customary ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the business’ arrival.
He added that the 6,000 square foot space will be seeing a lot more features over the next few months, including specialty wine racks and tasting events.
“We’re taking it a little at a time,” he said.
Not only is the Newington plaza ideal for the family’s new business, but they now live exactly four-and-a-half miles between both of their stores.
“I’ve had an eye on this location for a long time and a permit became available,” Anand explained. “There’s no other wine shop here on this stretch.”
Grove Hill Medical Center was the last tenant in the space. The practice moved about 10 years ago to 375 Willard Ave., where it would later become Starling Physicians.
Secretary Linda Tyler is glad to see life in the company’s former office again.
“It was vacant for a very long time,” Tyler said. “It’s an asset for the town to have the space leased.”
The Palani family is excited to meet local residents who pop in to check out the new store.
“We offer the best customer service,” Anand said. “We’re going to try to contribute back to the town however we can.”
That includes partnering with other businesses in the downtown district. Staff hope to build bridges to eateries in the area, which might provide cuisine for tasting events.
Gillette Ridge manager Laurie Kablik came to the grand opening to support the family.
“This is a terrific addition to the town of Newington,” she said. “The location is fantastic and it’s a wonderful thing for residents.”
Modern Wine & Spirits clerk Andre Brodeur introduced himself to visitors right alongside the Palanis.
“I think this is wonderful,” he said.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.