Pipe Burst Causes Crush Bottle Shop to Temporarily Close


Due to water damage from a pipe burst on Jan. 12, Broad Street’s Crush Bottle Shop temporarily closed its doors for business. According to the store’s owner, Alice Virden-Speer, flooding cased significant injury to Crush that will force it to remain closed until late February or early March, while Broad Street Diner, which sits adjacent to Crush, along with the apartments directly above her store, also experienced some damage. Upon finding her store flooding, Alice Virden-Speer immediately went to work trying to preserve the inventory.

“It basically rained inside the store for an hour [which led to] damaged bottles [because the] labels were soaked,” Virden-Speer said.

Opened in 2019, Crush provides the village with varying and affordable wine selections, according to their business website. Virden-Speer lost much of her wine inventory from the water damage.

“The beloved $13 and under table took a serious hit, and mostly the red wine,” Virden-Speer said.

While most of the damage was confined to the back of the store, where parts of the ceiling fell, the building’s was also hit by flooding.

“[They] repaired the pipe, but a lot of drywall in the back of the store had to be torn out and replaced, [along with] the ceiling in the basement, which is where we have all of the storage, so the fear is mold,” she said.

Virden-Speer rents the storefront under Smith Block L.L.C., which is taking care of the structural repairs. She reports that insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

“The lesson to remember is to make sure you are not underinsured,” she said. “You never think it will happen to you, but it can.”

Students living above Crush in SmithBlock, a block of off-campus apartments, were also affected by this flooding, according to senior Alexa Davis.

“This flooding […] has been affecting the students of the building, as there have been multiple fire alarms, the worst being at 5 a.m.,” Davis said. “During the late night fire alarm, we literally had to walk and wait at the Colgate Inn, because it’s too cold outside to wait for the fire alarm to go off.”

Because of the damage that occurred inside of Crush, the store will be closed to customers for the next few weeks.

Crush patron senior Noah Van Atta expressed his sympathy for the challenges facing the store and its neighboring businesses due to unforeseen flood damage. 

“It’s hard to hear about challenges that local businesses face, but it was especially difficult to learn about the pipe bursting at Crush,” Van Atta said. “Alice’s shop is a great place to learn about new wines and drinks, so I’m sad to hear she has to close down for repairs. I hope she’s able to overcome this obstacle and I wish her well through this challenge.”

No students were physically harmed from the flooding and Virden-Speer was uninjured, as she was not in the store when the pipe burst.

“I am thankful for all the outreach from the community, but am, of course, sad to not be able to see all the Colgate students [for the time being],” said Virden-Speer.