After almost 70 years of steady operation, some big changes are coming to nearby Little Silver Liquors in the coming weeks as the store transitions under its new owner.
Bill Kenney, who's lived in town since 2004, recently bought the Little Silver staple, which has been owned by the same family since its doors opened in 1944.
Now dubbed the Little Silver Bottle Shop, the store will begin to offer an increased selection of wines and Kenney said he would concentrate on expanding the quality and value of what customers will find on the shelves.
The store, which Kenney believes to be the oldest continually running retail establishment in Little Silver, was opened by Ralph Ribustelli who ran it until his son, Robert, took over about 30 years ago.
"I'm very grateful to the Ribustellis," said Kenney. "They've served our community well for nearly 70 years. It's not often that a small town business has that kind of longevity. It's very humbling to become a part of that history.
Kenney said he hopes to retain some of that history while bringing some improvements to the store. For example, the shop will be open on Sundays starting in July and will accept credit cards as soon as next week.
Already, new wooden floors have been installed and a grapey hue covers the store's shelving.
Kenney plans to improve signage for the Bottle Shop after gaining the necessary approvals from the borough.
There are also plans for unique programs, community support initiatives, regular wine tastings and classes, said Kenney.
Little Silver Bottle Shop will remain open for business as improvements are made over the next few weeks. Starting in July, the new shop hours will be Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A "Grand Re-Introduction" to the community is planned around the July 4 holiday, said Kenney.