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No mo’ vino: Trader Joe’s closes Union Square wine shop

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Updated Aug. 11, 10:25 p.m.: Holy sip!

Call it “The Day of Whines and Closes.”

After operating for more than 15 years, the Trader Joe’s Wine Shop at Union Square, between Third and Fourth Avenues, has suddenly shuttered.

Gail Fox, who lives in the neighborhood, on Thursday said a friend alerted her that the place had shut its doors. A sign posted said the store would open at a new site.

Fox said she phoned the store and a staffer confirmed the closing and that a new location was coming but did not give further details.

The store’s Web site also said it’s closed.

Local oenophiles enjoyed the no-frills outlet’s variety, affordable prices and friendly staff. Trader Joe’s Wine Shops are famed for their cheap Charles Shaw wine a.k.a. “Two Buck Chuck.”

The Village Sun passed by the closed store later on Thursday evening to find its windows completely covered with butcher-block paper. Two small signs posted said that TJ’s possesses only one license in all of New York State to sell wine and liquor — and this was it. The store also sold the typical hard alcohols, like vodka, tequila, bourbon, whiskey, rum and such.

One would have thought that the Union Square spot did quite a booming business. However, the signs said that TJ’s wants to “optimize the potential” of its sole wine and liquor license by finding the best possible store location.

There were also some claims that the store’s sudden disappearance may have been a union-busting effort but these could not immediately be confirmed.

The store’s employees will be paid through Aug. 28 and given the opportunity to transfer to other TJ’s, the signs said.


  1. JS JS August 14, 2022

    A sad loss to the community. However, union-busting is deplorable. Unions are what made this country great and give power to the people.

  2. misch brannock misch brannock August 12, 2022

    Went today after shopping my regular TJ’s… Still in shock.

  3. Carol from East 5th Street Carol from East 5th Street August 11, 2022

    Sad if that is what corporate did and sad that they closed (actually a disaster for me!). However an inexpensive wine store in Manhattan is a cash cow. 14th Street is not what it used to be and I’m sure they will find a spot that would be more profitable.
    BTW I was probably one of the last customers last night at 8:55 pm……

  4. Sean Sean August 11, 2022

    Union-busting move. Staff intended to ask for a vote to unionize today, so corporate decided to close the store at midnight. Closing the store after asking for a union vote is illegal, so corporate decided to beat them to the punch — close the store, let the staff go. There is no new location planned.

    • AG AG August 11, 2022

      Shameful, if true.

    • misch brannock misch brannock August 12, 2022


  5. Elaine Elaine August 11, 2022

    Absolutely devastating news.

  6. Sherina Sherina August 11, 2022

    Thank you for the update. We hope they open in a convenient location. And open soon.

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