FLATIRON — Customers flooded Eataly’s wine store this week, snapping up nearly all available bottles after the store offered steep discounts ahead of its planned six-month closure.
Eataly Vino’s shelves were nearly barren on Thursday afternoon, as customers rushed in to grab the remaining bottles before the store is forced to shut down on Sunday for breaking state liquor rules.
“People are just grabbing what they can,” said a store employee, who declined to give his name. “Since Friday, it’s been insane. The only time it’s been this busy is usually during Christmas or Thanksgiving.”
Asked on Thursday if Eataly Vino would run out of wine before its planned last day on Sunday, the shop's general manager said, "Definitely."
The 200 Fifth Ave. store usually carries more than 1,000 bottles of Italian vintage and local New York State wines, but nearly three-quarters of the stock was gone by Thursday, the store employee said. Bottles and cases had flown off the shelves since the 25 percent off sale started April 4, the worker said.
“We would’ve gotten three or four bottles with this sale, but they were all out of the wine we wanted,” said Dinnis Hahon, a 67-year-old New Jersey resident who was looking for Arnaldo Caprai’s Montefalco wine on Thursday.
Other customers left the store all smiles, including Ivan Rios, who was thrilled to pick up the Coravin wine system he’s always wanted, which keeps wine fresh for months even after opening.
“It’s usually $300, so with 25 percent off, I got a great deal,” said 21-year-old Rios, who had come from Corona, Queens to shop. “I’m definitely happy."
Eataly’s wine store won’t reopen until October, after the State Liquor Authority suspended its wine license earlier this year for breaking state rules that regulate the manufacture and wholesale of wines.
During the current wine sale, $1 for each bottle sold has been donated to Food Bank for New York City, an Eataly spokeswoman said.