Wine shop raises a final toast

A 14-year-old Carytown wine store is shutting its doors and making way for its neighboring wine bar to expand.

Julia Battaglini announced Monday that she is winding down operations of River City Cellars this week and will soon begin using the shop as an event space for Secco Wine Bar, which she also owns.

Battaglini broke the news to her customers in an email.

“Retail is never easy and this last year has been particularly difficult–I am hardly alone in this,” Battaglini wrote.

Despite shutting down the shop at 2931 W. Cary St., Battaglini said there would be no fire sale.

“There won’t be gaudy signs or deeply discounted sales, just a fair amount of unapologetic champagne consumption and bawdy reminiscing,” she wrote.

But, she adds, there will be no handwringing or second-guessing allowed about her decision.

“I SWEAR I will punch anyone in the throat who cries or offers armchair quarterback business assessments,” she wrote in the email. “Seriously. Let’s focus on the awesome.”

River City Cellars opened in 1998. It’s at least the third local wine shop to close in the area in the past year.

Wine and Beer Westpark in the Westpark Shopping Center on West Broad Street closed in January. Barrel Thief closed its Short Pump location in July.

View Larger Map

Leave a Reply

6 Comments on "Wine shop raises a final toast"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Awesome store. Great restaurant. I’m sad to see the shop go, but happy for Julia. She seems to be recognizing the need for some “creative destruction.”

Mary Foley

Seriously, Secco Wine Bar has been such a hot spot it needs more seats and a longer bar! Thrilled about the change! No crying from me. Looking forward to toasting some bubbly!


Hey, go with what works. I think it’s great. The food is incredibly unique and delicious.

Craig Davis

not a wine drinker so no effect on me…. but man those emails she sent are awesome!


Secco is great, river city cellars always had the inventory of a store going out of business – ie half the shelves were empty. So no surprise

Jasmine Rodriguez

Pretty sad to see the shop go, but maybe there is better opportunity for them somewhere, or someone else might be willing to invest?