Chelsea Wine Storage is under investigation by the New York State Liquor Authority after its customers reported a large number of bottles stored by the brand as missing, the New York Post reported Thursday.
The New York-based wine storage company recently faced backlash from customers when they discovered that their valued wine collections were covertly moved from the company’s original Manhattan facility to an unknown location. On November 30, The Post reported that customers were anxiously trying to get in touch with the company’s storage facility to retrieve their purchased wine to no avail by sending emails, calling, and knocking on the door of the original location.
“With no response, I am afraid my wines in storage are gone for good,” a Chelsea Wine Storage customer posted on Yelp on Oct. 23.
As the situation developed further over the past week, several businesses have decided to sue Chelsea Wine Storage owners Amelia and Michael Gancarz for the missing inventory. A wine brokerage firm called Grand Cru filed a lawsuit claiming that it had purchased $349,000 worth of Burgundy in May, and though they paid in full, they never received the order.
Other customers claim they were instructed to go to a former TGI Friday’s basement at 777 Seventh Ave. to pick up their wines, but when they arrived, no one was there. One source did tell The Post that the wine is indeed being stored in that location inside cardboard boxes stacked on wooden pallets.
Chelsea Wine Storage finally addressed their patrons in an email after days of being unresponsive, claiming that the business was experiencing staffing issues but the wine collections were safe and being correctly stored. The business also claimed that issues with its landlord, Delshah Capital, was another factor in the delay.
Lyle Fass, a wine importer and a customer of Chelsea Wine Storage for 25 years, mentioned that he knew something wasn’t right when he submitted a request in early October to have three cases of wine delivered to him from storage and never heard back, according to The Post. When he went to the original Chelsea Market location to look into the situation, he found that it had been relocated without warning.
Whether this is a case of misplaced wine and disorganization or of actual fraud or stolen bottles remains to be seen, but those still struggling to access their wine hope that the investigation will shed light on the matter.
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