In the 'spirits' of old Woodhaven
by Ed Wendell
Oct 24, 2018 | 914 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dexter Wines and Spirits will be recognized as Woodhaven’s Business of the Year.
Dexter Wines and Spirits will be recognized as Woodhaven’s Business of the Year.
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The newly renovated interior of Dexter Wines and Spirits.
The newly renovated interior of Dexter Wines and Spirits.
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An advertisement in an April 1946 edition of the Leader-Observer for the newly opened Dexter Wines.
An advertisement in an April 1946 edition of the Leader-Observer for the newly opened Dexter Wines.
slideshow
When you talk about some of the oldest business still in operation along Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, which businesses come to mind?

Schmidt’s Candy and Manor Delicatessen have both been around close to a century. And Ohlert-Ruggiere can trace its’ roots back even further than that.

How about Dexter Wines and Spirits at 75-13 Jamaica Avenue? It might not immediately leap to mind, but it should!

Now in its 72nd year of operation (it opened in 1946), Dexter Wines can rightfully claim to be one of the oldest businesses in Woodhaven still in operation, with a name that hearkens back to the early days of Woodhaven.

Dexter Park was a recreational park that opened in the late 19th century and later was the site of a baseball stadium that saw famous legends such as Babe Ruth and Josh Gibson play exhibition games.

For the last 35 years, Dexter Wines and Spirits has been owned and operated by the Hui family. Steve Hui bought the store back in 1983, and today his sons Victor and John proudly carry on that tradition.

And five years ago the Hui brothers gave Dexter Wines and Spirits a beautiful makeover, creating the type of store that some customers say they would only expect to see in some of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods.

The interior is beautiful; a blend of aged wood and original bricks with a colorful old-fashioned neon light in the window.

“Why shouldn’t we have a place like this in Woodhaven?” John Hui asks. “Woodhaven deserves this.”

Dexter Wines and Spirits offers free wine tasting every Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“When we took over, we carried two basic wines,” said John. “Now we have a large selection to choose from. But buying a wine you’ve never tried is a risky investment, so we offer you the opportunity to sample a few new brands before making that investment.”

Dexter Wines has also been active in the community, donating goods and services to charitable fundraisers and organizations.

When Neir’s Tavern held a drive to raise funds for medical treatment for an injured dog, Dexter Wines and Spirits donated a very generous package of items to be raffled off.

Visit dexterwinesnyc.com or call (718) 296-0142 to see what else Dexter Wines has to offer, such as delivery service within the Woodhaven area.

For being part of the Woodhaven community for three-quarters of a century, Dexter Wines and Spirits will be recognized as Woodhaven’s Business of the Year by the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association at its 47th annual fundraiser on Friday, October 26, at Roma View Fine Catering at 160-05 Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach.

This yearly event is an opportunity for residents to dress in their finest and celebrate another successful and eventful year for the WRBA.

Adult tickets (12 and older) are $70, and tickets for children over five are $35. Tickets include a full buffet dinner with soda, beer, and wine. The event kicks off at 7 and concludes at 11 p.m.

Besides Dexter Wines and Spirits, this year’s Woodhaven Man of the Year is Jose Vazquez, longtime resident of Woodhaven, and the Woman of the Year is Peggy Finnegan.

And the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association will induct the late Maria Thomson into its Hall of Fame. Thomson was a longtime director of the WRBA, as well as executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District and the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation.

This annual event provides a major source of funding for the organization's operation. When you purchase a ticket for this event, you aren’t just getting a great night out, you are also supporting an all-volunteer organization that is good for our community.

The people on the WRBA board are volunteering on behalf of our community seven days a week, 365 days a year. This is a good opportunity to support and thank these people for their efforts.

For the record, they are president Stephen Forte, vice president Giedra Kregzdys, Arlene Annunziata, Vance Barbour, Janet Chan-Smith, Martin Colberg, Janet Forte and Sherman Kane. Thank you to all of them for their continued and ongoing efforts on behalf of Woodhaven.

There’s still time to buy tickets by calling (718) 296-3735. You can also purchase tickets online at bit.ly/wrba-2018.

From now on when you talk about old businesses in Woodhaven, don’t forget about Dexter Wines!

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