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Stitch owners to open downtown grocery store; Mill owner opening wine store

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By Peter Osborne

Downtown Wilmington has a new fine-wine and spirits store and will soon get an adjacent grocery store with breakfast and lunch service, thanks to some familiar names in the business community.

Robert Herrera, the owner of The Mill co-working space, opened Girard Craft & Cork on April 12 at the corner of Girard and Ninth streets, in the former home of Bottlecaps. The building is owned by Herrera, Rob Snowberger, and some friends and family.

Snowberger and Sheridan will open Faire, a neighborhood grocery store with fresh produce, vegetables, prepared foods, and meat and cheeses in a set-up that Snowberger compares with Janssen’s Market in Greenville. Snowberger said he expects Faire to open in mid-May.

Snowberger and Sheridan own Stich House Brewery a few blocks away and Sheridan owns Locale BBQ Post on Lincoln Street. They were unable to obtain a liquor license for Girard Craft & Cork because of Stitch’s brewery license, so they offered their idea for an upscale wine store to Herrera and stepped back from those plans.

“We saw a great opportunity in this area with the number of new residents moving in, along with requests from guests at local hotels looking for a safe place to buy wines and other beverages,” Snowberger said. “We were disappointed we couldn’t do it but Rob [Herrera] and a partner said they’d love to.”

The wine store has an entrance on Girard Street, while the grocery store has one on Ninth Street. They also have a glass wall/shared vestibule at another entrance.

“We’re going to have experienced operators on both sides,” Herrera said. “Both stores will offer amenities to the city that the city really needs. I’m really passionate aboyut solving design problems, and the challenges that (Dan and Rob) faced evolved into two separate things that will play off each other.”

Snowberger said Faire will have takeout and a decision to expand to dinner service will depend on feedback from downtown workers and residents.

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