WheeLove: Centre Market
By Alex Panas
This article is part of a month-long series celebrating National Preservation month. WheeLove: Centre Market spotlights business owners that have contributed to the Centre Market historic district’s success. This is just a glimpse at one of many businesses that contribute to Wheeling's revitalization. Business owners who are interested in being featured on a WheeLove blog should contact Alex Panas and Bekah Karelis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2009, Greg and Diane Myers have been the proud owners of Casa di Vino and Market Vines in Centre Market. Casa di Vino is one of the premier wine shops in the area. In addition to having over 300 different wines for sale, they also offer winemaking, homebrewing and other specialty products for wine lovers. The atmosphere of Casa di Vino is warm and welcoming, wine enthusiasts and novices alike can feel at home when they walk through the door.
While Greg and Diane love calling Centre Market home for their two businesses, they didn’t originally plan on being located in this historic area of town. The newly-built Highlands shopping plaza was initially very enticing to the Myers’, but it was ultimately nostalgia that prompted Greg to plant roots in Wheeling. Greg recalled, “I remember coming here as a kid, so there is a lot of history here for me. It’s what made me fall in love with the idea of having the business here.” It appeared that Wheeling was thirsting for something new, in the early 2000s there was a growth in the wine market which encouraged Greg to open Casa di Vino. Breaking into the wine market was a natural step for Greg. As the grandson of an Italian immigrant, wine was the family business that everyone had a hand in when he was growing up
The Myers’ goal was always to own their own retail space, which prompted the move to their current location in 2014. Casa di Vino now occupies the Flaccus building at 2269 Market Street. According to the City Directory the Flaccus Brothers Building was completed in 1881. Much like the Myers, George, William, and Edward Flaccus offered specialty items to their customers, as well as, operated a successful mincemeat factory producing over 20,000 pounds of mincemeat in their first year of production. The Flaccus brothers were also skilled in producing their own attractive glass containers for their products to help better market to consumers. The spirit of the Flaccus brothers’ business lives on today as it houses the specialty wine and craft beer offered at Casa di Vino.
In the last few years, Greg has paid attention to all of the positive changes happening in the neighborhood. He notes that the increased foot traffic and awareness of local events have been wonderful changes that he hopes will continue. His vision is to see Centre Market attract more diverse businesses that compliment what is currently offered. As Greg explains, “we all benefit from diversity”. His advice to those thinking of wanting to open their own business locally is to “just go for it, you’ll never know how successful you can be until you try.” Greg notes that it is a great time to be in Centre Market, and he has reported growth for his businesses for the past five years. If there was ever a time to break into the market, it is now.
What’s next for the Myers and their businesses? Both Casa di Vino and Market Vines are in the process of expanding. In July, Casa di Vino will be filling growlers of beer from the Brew Keepers and other craft breweries. Additionally, Market Vines will soon have a larger food preparation area and a new menu for patrons. They are also renovating the building next to Market Vines. While there aren’t finalized plans for the building at this time, Greg expects that they will lease the space.
You can visit Casa di Vino Monday-Tuesday 10am-5:30pm, Wednesday-Friday 10am-6pm, and Saturday from 10am-5:30 pm. Each month they hold walk-about wine tasting for Wheeling’s First Friday from 6-8pm. They also host specialty wine tasting events and give back to the community by supporting local fundraising efforts. For more information on their upcoming events, visit their website and “like” them on Facebook.