A popular liquor store along Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood which has been around for nearly 70 years has officially changed owners.
Queens Wines and Liquors, located at 59-03 71st Ave., has been run by Herman Hochberg for the last 68 years, but he has sold the business to Annabelle Biei on Nov. 11. Biei and her family have been in the liquor store business for more than 20 years and have had a presence in Queens for the same amount of time.
“I had mixed emotions about selling the store, but when I analyzed it, I would rather walk out than be carried out,” Hochberg said. “Ridgewood is my second home and it is a great community. I see it is changing and I wish I was younger. I couldn’t do the things I did years ago. I couldn’t work the hours and I couldn’t run the store the way I used to, and it was time to hand over the gavel.”
Biei confirmed that Queens Wines and Liquors will remain a liquor store and will keep the name. Although the name is staying the same, Biei has some big plans for the liquor store.
“We will be decreasing prices throughout the entire store. Everything will be either the same price or lower,” Biei said. “We will not be increasing prices and we will match or beat any area prices. We are also going to be increasing the wine and champagne selections, and the store already has a massive collection of eastern European liquors and wines. We will carry wines and liquors from over 30 countries and will carry everything from miniature bottles to 1.75 liter bottles.”
There will soon be a new sommelier on staff at all times at Queens Wines and Liquors to help customers with wine pairings and to provide them with information on different types and regions of wines.
The inside of the store is going to be renovated as well, and the new owner plans to remain open during the renovation process.
Hochberg was much more than just the owner of a popular liquor store in Ridgewood. He played an instrumental part in bettering the entire neighborhood with his civic work.
He was one of the founding members of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), which helped bring in new business and make it the commercial strip that it is today, and he was the founding chairman of the Ridgewood Local Development Corporation (RLDC).
“I love the community and will continue to be active on all of the boards that I serve,” Hochberg confirmed. “I’m not the type of person to sit at a beach. I’ve been working all my life, and I intend to serve on all the community boards I was on. I just want to thank the community for giving me a good run. I made many friends and am proud of the accomplishments of the BID and LDC and hope they continue.”