Champane's Wine Cellars in Warren, MI

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by bushbeer75, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. bushbeer75

    bushbeer75 Crusader (771) Aug 23, 2006 Michigan

    I visited Champane's Wine Cellars approximately 1 1/2 months ago and was surprised to see how bare their shelves were. When I asked the cashier about the bare shelves she said they were having trouble with the distributors and getting enough stock...I thought that was strange. Since then their emails have mention numerous sales on all stock [beer/wine] even [empty] wooden wine boxes and some shelving.

    Yesterday, I received an email that said "Champane's Wine Cellars is selling all of it's inventory before it closes at discounted prices!". So I guess they will be closing. I am sure sorry to read that!!!! Champane's had arguably the best select with the best pricing in S.E. Michigan.

    Champane's you will be missed!!
  2. abanton

    abanton Initiate (152) Nov 19, 2010 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Interesting. I was just in there about 2 weeks ago and asked one of the guys (who I have always assumed to be a manager) what was going on. He said they were doing a big renovation and were getting rid of their stock to make it easier to do the re-build. He said they were cutting way back on liquor and would be focusing more on wine and beer moving forward. You'd think they'd have their employees on the same page with what's going on because I'm sure they're getting all sorts of questions. I feel like the shelves have been sparse for at least the last 2-3 months.
  3. DeviousSpirits

    DeviousSpirits Initiate (183) Mar 23, 2009 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Opening that taproom inside the store was a big gamble, one that probably didn't pay off like they thought. What a shame, because this store was world-class as recent as of less than a year ago. I really hope this doesn't mean the end.
  4. red94tt

    red94tt Disciple (393) Nov 27, 2008 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I've heard several different things about what was supposedly happening with the store.

    Had a long chat with one of the owners back in December of last year and at that time, he said they were looking to move somewhere else. He mentioned the overhead costs of the current location being too costly.

    I've also heard that they were thinking about splitting up the building for other tenants and decreasing the square footage that they operated out of.

    During some recent trips, the normal cashier lady said they were just trimming down inventory and was very vague about the situation.

    If they are closing down completely, that's a tough loss. I've been stopping by that store for at least 10 years.
  5. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I wonder what their overhead is. The parking lot is a total mess and has been for at least 10 years .

    I am unsure if they turn the heat in the winter. Of course as cavernous as that place is I would not want to pay to heat it
    Gemini6 and Hezy like this.
  6. fishtremble

    fishtremble Initiate (185) Jan 18, 2010 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I have been a supporter of Champanes for well over 15-20 years as well. It definitely looks like and has looked like for the last year the end of days for them. Obviously the employees really cannot talk about it to us and up till recently I believe they weren't even informed though most did suspect what was about to happen. After getting to know so many of these workers many of who have been there even longer than I shopped there I truly wish them all the best as many of these people have now reached an age where finding new employment will be quite challenging and frightening for them.
    red94tt likes this.
  7. croush

    croush Defender (653) Mar 20, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I've stopped there many times over the years, as it's near my family that I visit. I definitely noticed the bare shelves (especially in wine) over the last year or so. I find it interesting if they close down completely (without re-opening somewhere else), as it was at one point one of the most reliable places in the metro area for the combination of wine and beer.
    red94tt and fishtremble like this.
  8. Mattmc1973

    Mattmc1973 Initiate (171) Jun 4, 2008 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, sad to see them go from an award-winning beer store with the best selection and prices in metro Detroit, to out of business. Although I heard more than a couple beer store guys from other stores say that while Champanes was cheap, they were TOO cheap. That while they cranked through inventory, they couldn't have been making much money with as small as their markup was. Great for customers, but not profitable for them.
    red94tt likes this.
  9. ypsifly

    ypsifly Meyvn (1,028) Sep 22, 2004 Michigan

    As Meijer and other chains take on more beer and are willing to sell it at or below cost, the latter of which is illegal*, it gets harder for us independents to stay in business. So many folks are proud to support small beer, yet have no problems passing by the Mom 'n Pops on their way to the coolers in the big box stores.

    *The Meijer in Ann Arbor was selling Arbor Brewing beers below cost back in March. The Allen Park store was selling Two Hearted almost a dollar below cost last year.
    red94tt and GuyFawkes like this.
  10. mike409

    mike409 Aspirant (220) Jan 25, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Selling beer below cost is illegal? ?
  11. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
    Beer Trader

  12. Ckoz

    Ckoz Disciple (318) Feb 15, 2014 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I'll be honest I've lived in this area (close enough to shop there) for a little while and I've been disappointed everytime I've gone in there. Empty shelves, very dark and unfriendly space and unorganized. Sad to see any business close but I'm not surprised one bit.
  13. K-jack211

    K-jack211 Initiate (180) Jun 22, 2014 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Those price lists only cover spirits. As far as I know, Michigan doesn't set pricing for beer/wine. I've seen several "mom and pop" bottle shops sell old beer stock at below cost.
  14. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I stand corrected.
  15. DrinktotheDead

    DrinktotheDead Initiate (157) Feb 11, 2014 Michigan

    Where else could you stumble upon pallets of Ten Fiddy being blown out at $8/4pks, no limit?
    BaseballNBeer and red94tt like this.
  16. red94tt

    red94tt Disciple (393) Nov 27, 2008 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Nice grab. I still have to stop by there this weekend. Not expecting much to be left over but it's worth once last visit to pay my respects to the ol' store.

    Did you happen to notice if they still had a bunch of wooden wine boxes for sale?
  17. DrinktotheDead

    DrinktotheDead Initiate (157) Feb 11, 2014 Michigan

    That was about 2-3 yrs ago, I haven't been in since last year.
  18. red94tt

    red94tt Disciple (393) Nov 27, 2008 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Well, thanks for the brief moment of excitement. I'll still be stopping by to see what's left in their clearance sale.
  19. fishtremble

    fishtremble Initiate (185) Jan 18, 2010 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I wouldn't bother, I went in last night and there isn't enough left now to fill a Yugo's trunk. Everything is pretty much on one shelf now right at the registers. The sports arena has pretty much taken over the building and the owner is running the register and says maybe next summer he will reopen and just sell nuts like they used to but not really interested in the alcohol game anymore.
    red94tt likes this.
  20. bushbeer75

    bushbeer75 Crusader (771) Aug 23, 2006 Michigan

    THANKS everyone for your opinions, and information. Sure am SORRY to see them go!!!

    Cheers Champane's Wine Cellars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  21. melwise11

    melwise11 Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2016

    Sad to see them go. Does anyone know of any other area wine shops like this around? Need some help with wine selections around the Holiday season for gift giving and this place was always great for that!
  22. Ckoz

    Ckoz Disciple (318) Feb 15, 2014 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Holiday Market in Roya Oak

    Cloverleaf Wine in Royal Oak as well.
    Gemini6 likes this.
  23. j_nathan

    j_nathan Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2017

    wow, just wow (ive been out of the country)
    to be honest noticed something wasn't right last spring/summer

    before that I was in french wine heaven, their selection and prices were simply incomparable

    slowly that changed and before I knew it the same mediocre bottles were sitting on increasingly limited offering shelves

    seeing micheles bakery move in was nice, bought some really tasty stuff but it just wasn't enough, the french wine selection went from stellar to meh

    ohh well, what do they say? good things never last?

    read a comment that it was mismanaged, honestly I dont care
    the biscuits and gravy at micheles restaurant were awesome as was the pastry but it failed,
    champanes failed also and just like that commenter I also wonder but on a bigger scale, because more and more people are flat out leaving warren, mi and I cant blame them

    too much of the area has become dirty industrial and shows no sign of improvement

    warren better turn it around before they become just another dirty place that people drive by

    R.I.P. champanes (and micheles bakery)
  24. red94tt

    red94tt Disciple (393) Nov 27, 2008 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Well, that was an uplifting post....