Earlier this month, we broke the news that Jay Smith, longtime owner of Cavanaugh’s Wines, had sold his College Park wine shop and bar after nearly twenty years.

We can now tell you that the venue will be getting a new name … and that its first event under new ownership is coming up next week.

Next Thursday, December 7, new owner Rob Chase will host a “casual class” and tasting with Hugh Davies, President of Napa’s Schramsberg Vineyards. Details about the event, including how to reserve a spot, are on the Events Page.

Chase, who quit his job as a distributor with Augustan Wine Imports just two weeks ago, says this will be the first of many wine-centered events at his new venue.

“There is a pretty deep cellar back here,” he said, “so be on the lookout for some fun themes with some great old bottles!”

“Many Changes” on the Horizon

Chase is eager to capitalize on the potential he saw in Cavanaugh’s over the ten years he sold wine to its previous owner.

“There is no place quite like it in town,” he said, “great location, parking, the patio,” not to mention that cellar. He says much of the inventory that came with the shop has been aging for the better part of two decades.

But he does plan to shake things up.

“There will be a great many changes over the next month,” Chase told me just before Thanksgiving.

For one thing, Cavanaugh’s will soon get a new name, though he’s not ready to go public with it yet.

Other changes will include later opening hours to capitalize on the wine bar side of the business. Cavanaugh’s currently closes at 7pm except on Fridays, when it stays open until 11pm or later.

Despite the new name, Chase says one thing will stay the same:

“This shop has been a tremendous source of inspiration and education for me over the years,” he said. “I have every intention of exposing customers to as many exciting new wines here as I have had the opportunity to experience.”

Photo courtesy of Rob Chase


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