For longtime friends Philip Hatter and Jayson Anuszkiewicz, Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellara community staple, has been a part of countless memories – from holidays to game nights to family celebrations.
Hatter, a Roanoke native, lived just four doors away from the popular wine and beer shop when it first opened on Brambleton Road over a decade ago.
Anuszkiewicz, a Michigan transplant lured here by a job with Roanoke Fire-EMS, where he’s now a lieutenant, gravitated toward the friendly, locally owned shop as he delved into homebrewing and built up his knowledge of wine.
So when the two learned that Mr. Bill, aka Bill Phillips, was ready to retire and hoping to pass on his shop to new owners, it struck them as a natural fit.
“We knew the business,” Hatter said, adding the duo, whose families have been friends for years, wanted to continue the legacy of glad gatherings and community connection that Phillips created.
People are also reading…
“You know, wine and beer, when people are buying those things, it’s typically for some kind of celebratory event,” he said. “We want to be a place that fosters those gatherings, whether it’s a group of friends around a grill on a Tuesday night or a graduation or a wedding.”
“Our goal, really, is to help people celebrate the good life, essentially,” he said. “That’s what we’re about.”
The sale, which took effect March 2, was a homecoming for Hatter, who previously worked in coffee and for the past five years was a director with a roastery in Knoxville, Tenn., Strengthening his background in product testing and sourcing.
His family is now back in the Star City. Hatter plans to work full-time in the shop. Anuszkiewicz will be giving time to both the store and his job with the fire department. Phillips is consulting with the new team, and said in an online announcement he was excited for this new chapter for the business that he opened in 2010.
Mr. Anuszkiewicz still remembers one of his first visits to Mr. Bill’s. He asked if they ever stocked a hard-to-find beer from his home state. Phillips tracked it down, and got it for him.
That type of dedication and service is something he wants to continue. “It’s a good legacy,” Anuszkiewicz said. “… We’re here for the people. We’re here for the folks who want to celebrate. ”
The new owners plan to revive the shop’s weekly tastings, after a long, pandemic-imposed hiatus, with the first event booked for late April. Other gatherings, including meet-and-greets with wine and beer makers, are also in the works.
Mr. Bill’s, which occupies a storefront spanning about 1,000 square feet, offers wines from an array of growing regions and price points. Craft beers, ciders and meads also round out the shelves.
The shop, located at 2825 Brambleton Ave. in Roanoke, is open from 10 am to 7 pm Mondays through Saturdays.