Surrounded by an impressive assortment of choices in his liquor and cigar shop, Bill Shehadeh has had little to toast since the recession.
“We’ve been struggling for the past three and a half….four years,” said the owner of Stonelake Vine and Spirits.
“Just right now….it’s beginning to turn.”
With a customer base diligently carved out over five years near Elk Grove Boulevard and Interstate 5, Shehadeh finally feels stable.
But, he believes his business could be growing if it was easier to find.
“Somebody calls and wants to know where ya at….I have to tell them…I stay away from saying Riparian drive,” said Shehadeh.
In hopes of filling up the mostly vacant Stonelake Landing shopping center, new owners made a pitch to city staff.
They want to switch addresses from the back street of Riparian to one on the more recognizable Elk Grove boulevard.
Though that street runs the length of the plaza, the request was denied based on concerns from the fire department and public works.
“So it’s really all about public safety,” said Elk Grove director of public works Richard Shepard.
“Once you get past Harbor which changes names to West Taron…you either get trapped to go onto the freeway or go over the freeway and get stopped at this intersection….to make a u-turn at an uncontrolled intersection which causes safety concerns,” he said.
Folks who do find their way to Shehadeh’s shop…don’t think the name game is keeping lessees or foot traffic away.
“You got a big sign. you’re off the freeway. you’re there,” said Shehadeh’s regular customer Dave.
City council members have directed staff to keep working on the issue with center owner Ethan Conrad.
Shepard and others say they won’t budge on the Elk Grove boulevard issue, but could consider an address change to West Taron.
According to Conrad, that could be better, still not the best thing.