South Wedge wine company granted liquor license after refusal spurred News10NBC investigation

ROCHESTER, NY (WHEC) – Months after his liquor license was denied by the state, a natural wine store has been allowed to open in the city’s South Wedge neighborhood.

Brandon Opalich and his wife open Aldaskeller’s Wine Company on Gregory Street, offering only natural and organic products.

Opalich first appeared before the State Liquor Authority (SLA) in February. The president refused the liquor license, saying he had seen others come and say they would only serve organic and natural wines, then find out it was not economically feasible.

A statement from ALC said the request was denied due to the store’s proximity to existing liquor stores. There is a liquor store on the same block.

Opalich submitted a reconsideration.

The board reversed its opinion on Wednesday, allowing Aldaskeller to move forward.

“We were confident, with what we submitted to ALS, that we had a good shot,” Opalich said. “Hearing the board members all say yes was a huge sigh of relief and that weight that you know I’ve kind of carried over the past two months, as you know, immediately lifted .”

He is aiming for the beginning of June to open the cellar.

ALC’s initial denial of Opalich’s liquor license has raised questions about whether or not this is ALC’s place to determine if a business is viable. The investigation by News10NBC investigative reporter Jennifer Lewke led to more people coming forward with allegations that ALC commissioners treated them in a way that made them feel disrespected.

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