We can't think of another store
owner or manager or restauranteur who has been here even half that
Shaker Square Beverages was opened
by Jurgen Von Leutwitz on April
1, 1937. It is by far
the most senior business on the Square and is the oldest wine retailer
in Ohio. You'll find it in the southeast quadrant of the Square,
next to Yours Truly.
Gene learned the wine
business by coming in as an apprentice and working free
part-time for a
year until an opening was available. He bought Shaker Beverages in
1984 when it had two stores. Now there are four stores: the Square, Severance
the Halle Building in Playhouse Square, and the Campus Wine Cellars
on East Main Street in Kent.
Advice on buying wine (and
sometimes on other topics) is available from Gene at the store and
on his website
In his more than 20 years on the
Square Gene Veronesi has been active in the Merchants Association,
serving as its Vice President and President.
He is concerned today
lack of an active Merchants Association and says "When the
activities planned for and paid for by the merchants are solely at
the discretion of the Landlord, without merchant's input, there is
no gauge to measure success or failure. We were promised such a
measuring tool for feedback. We are still waiting."
Born in Pittsburgh, Gene
really is Doctor Veronesi. He earned a Ph.D. from Case in Early
modern European art and is currently completing a second Ph.D. in
Italian History at the University of Akron.
personal note, since I started these pages no one on the
Square has been more helpful than Gene Veronesi.
I decided to build this website
for Shaker Square and registered its domain name shakersquare.net the day before the open meeting in
February 2004. The day after the
meeting I visited Shaker Beverages to tell Gene about my plans. He then took a few steps back from the counter to
his computer, always connected to the internet, brought up his
email, and in a minute had sent an enthusiastic message with the
news to all the other businesses on the Square. He continues to be a
supporter of this project and a source of information and ideas.