NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - New York City is facing a booze and wine shortage. The union workers of Empire Merchants, which distributes hundreds of wine labels and liquor in the New York City area, are on strike. Last deliveries went out October 31, which means fully stocked shelves like these could start looking empty soon.
Whiskey and Wine GM Joseph Ptrolawicz says this is the least convenient time for this because holiday season is upon us. He says wine and liquor shops make a lot of their business between the end of September and end of December. He says his store has enough in storage to fill the shelves -- at least for now. If he has to, he will turn to other distributors.
But some restauranteurs, like Salvatore Coppola, says that luxury is not available to his business. Coppola says Empire Merchants accounts for about 80 percent of the bottles offered on his menu.
Empire is the fifth largest distributor nationally. As of Friday, its website explains members of the Wine, Liquor and Distillers Workers Union -- Local 1D voted down a proposed new contract and are now on strike.
"As a result, we are working on a modified basis and are unable to take orders at this time," Empire said.
The union has not yet responded to a request for comment.