Tom Kundrak Sells Wenk's
HomeTown is a Michigan chain of twenty-nine pharmacies (as well as three long-term care facilities and a compounding pharmacy). It's installed one of its own pharmacists, Steven Evans, and, says assistant regional manager Michael Orta, the company will be "improving overall efficiency, offering free delivery and online refills, and working to put together a made-in-Michigan section of gifts, books, and wine."
Fine, but probably the question on most people's minds is what's going to happen to Hugo and the wine? Relax, all ye Burns Park dinner party hosts. Nothing there will change. Hugo Ristow has been with Wenk's since it was across the street at Lamp Post Plaza, and his idiosyncratic taste and eye for bargains has given him a certain cachet as a source of interesting wines at clearance prices. Asked how he got into wine, he says, with his usual tranquil candor, "I don't know." Back in the 1970s, he was working at the liquor store in Plymouth Road Mall, "and we sold tons and tons of beer. I started trying every wine I could get my hands on." He claims that Ann Arborites drink--or at one time did, at any rate--more wine per capita than anywhere else in the country, though he can't remember the source of that statistic. And they're discerning. "You could go to a much more affluent area and find people drinking a lot worse wine."
Home Town Pharmacy, 2355 E. Stadium, 747-8080. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Sun. hometownpharmacy.com
[Originally published in October, 2013.]