Couple proposes wine shop in East Hills

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Leon & Son Brooklyn

A family-owned wine shop in New York is seeking approval to open in Grand Rapids.

Chris Leon and Christina Fotieo, the husband-and-wife team behind Leon & Son in Brooklyn, New York, have submitted a request to the Grand Rapids Planning Commission to open a wine shop and tasting room in the East Hills neighborhood, at 972 Cherry St. SE, according to planning commission documents.

Family ties and a deep love for the area led to Leon selecting Grand Rapids for a second store, according to the proposal. Fotieo is a Grand Rapids native.

Like Leon & Son’s New York location, the Grand Rapids store would sell wine by the bottle for off-premises consumption, as well as free tastings. The Brooklyn location also sells spirits by the bottle.

The 1,000-square-foot retail space would have a small area with about four seats reserved for wine tastings.

Other than a new sign, the applicant has proposed no exterior changes.

Leon & Son is also applying to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for a new Specially Designated Merchant Liquor License, along with permits for Sunday a.m. sales and wine and beer tasting.

The proposal is scheduled to go before the planning commission for a public hearing on June 27. Leon & Son has received several letters of support from neighborhood residents and businesses like Books & Mortar and New Design Floral.

The New York-based wine shop has received critical acclaim from GQ magazine, Brooklyn magazine and New York magazine, among other publications, and won three gold medals from Wine-Searcher for its Burgundy, Californian and European lists.

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