For the past thirty years, locals and visitors to the area have been stopping in the little shop on the west-bound side of Route 50 for their beer and wine. For the past 13 years, husband and wife team Sara and Dave Hambury have been operating The Green Room Bottle Shop in West Ocean City, working around the clock for the past few months on the latest expansion of the bottle shop, which will now include spirits and a full bar. An expansion is merely an understatement, as the space has undergone a complete re-haul and facelift, bringing another locally-owned and operated gem to the Ocean City area.
Plans for expansion began last January, when the news of Worcester County’s plan to move their liquor dispensary from its location adjacent to The Green Room further down the road. “Not having a liquor store next to us would have forced us to close our business,” explained Sara Hambury, noting that they have always operated with a liquor store next door, an obvious complement to their beer and wine shop. “This is what people have known,” said Hambury, “it’s always been here.” By April, Hambury had garnered approval to expand into the space and sell liquor, a move that carried with it a contingency for a 25-seat bar within the store.
In addition to spirits and the fully-stocked bar, the wine and beer selection will also be expanding, with a roughly 40 percent expansion of wine. Televisions will be added to the space, along with new featured events. Wine education nights, wine tastings and tap takeovers are just a few of the events set to be hosted in the new space. “Tap takeovers are when, for that particular event, all of the beer that is poured is from one brewery,” explained Hambury, adding that brew masters and distillers will be able to Skype in and be a part of the event, whether they are in California or South Africa. Of course, local breweries, wineries and distilleries will also be featured.
The expansion also includes a complete facelift to the former space. Rather than the stark lighting and standard shelving that one would typically expect to find in a liquor store, The Green Room Bottle Shop is host to welcoming colors and unique features, like the reclaimed, white-washed cedar siding or the tin paneling recovered from an old farm in Berlin. Hambury noted that when discussing the space with architect David Quillen (whom she described as nothing short of brilliant), she told him “I need a South Moon Under meets Starbucks meets liquor store.” The result is a 7,000 square foot “village,” as Hambury lovingly calls the store, which now houses style, ample space, and of course, plenty of beer, wine and liquor.
The wine and beer portion of The Green Room has remained open during construction, and by the end of the week, expect to see the beer and wine filling up the shelves in the new addition of the shop, with liquor and the full-bar to be ready just in time for the holiday season.