LITTLE SILVER — Little Silver Liquors, the oldest continually running retail establishment in the borough, has changed hands. William G. Kenney, a Little Silver resident, purchased the business from the Ribustelli family.
“I’m very grateful to the Ribustellis. They’ve served our community well for nearly 70 years. It’s not often that a small town business has that kind of longevity. It’s very humbling to become a part of that history,” Kenney said.
Ralph Ribustelli opened the shop in its current location and sold his first bottle of wine in 1944. His son, Robert, took over the operation in the early 1980s and has been at the helm ever since.
Kenney hopes to retain a sense of that history, even as some improvements are made to the interior and to the business itself. For example, the shop will be open on Sundays starting in July, will accept credit cards and will now be doing business under the name Little Silver Bottle Shop. In addition, Kenney plans to improve signage for the store after gaining the necessary approvals from the borough.
The shop offers wine, spirits and beer as well as ancillary products. Little Silver Bottle Shop will remain a full service wine shop, albeit with a broader selection.
“My staff and I are going to work very hard over the coming months to increase the breadth of inventory. Our goal is to provide our customers with high quality wines and spirits that are great values,” Kenney said.
The new management team doesn’t plan on stopping there though. There are plans for unique programs, community support initiatives, regular wine tastings and classes among other things. Mr. Kenney was also quick to emphasize the full service nature of the shop.
“We have a very efficient, environmentally friendly 17-door walk-in cooler. That’s a tremendous amount of refrigeration space,” he said. “Not only will we have an incredible selection of ice cold beer, but we’ll also have a huge variety of chilled, ready to consume wines, too,” he said.
Little Silver Bottle Shop will remain open for business as improvements to the interior are made over the coming weeks. Starting in July, the new shop hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
A grand re-introduction to the community is planned in time for July 4 celebrations.