HAMMONTON — Starting Friday night, audience members at The Eagle Theatre will be able to enjoy a glass of wine before and during shows.
Sharrott Winery, located just over the border from Hammonton in Winslow Township, has gotten permission from the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control to sell half and full bottles of wine at the theater.
Sharrott said the state won’t allow the winery to sell by the glass, but it can provide glasses for people to use onsite.
“This allows people to get a big city experience, right here in Hammonton,” said Lawrence Sharrott Jr., who co-owns the winery with his son, Lawrence III. “You can see a really nice play, and have a really nice glass of wine in a relaxed atmosphere, and not have to go to Philadelphia or New York for that.”
It is the first such agreement in New Jersey, said Eagle Theatre President Jim Donio. He said audience members can take their wine to their seats, and enjoy it with the show. That gives patrons even more freedom than at most big-city theaters, allowing them to drink at their leisure rather than hurrying through a beverage during intermission.
The Wine Lounge will debut June 7 for the opening night of “Urinetown: The Musical,” which runs through June 29.
At a recent festival at the winery, performers from the Eagle Theatre sang and talked about upcoming shows. Sharrott said he plans to continue that kind of cross marketing at his winery.
His agreement with the state is for an additional retail site. He said wineries have set up additional sites before for remote tasting rooms, often in restaurants, but never before in a New Jersey theater.
The half bottles will sell for $11 to $15, the full bottles for $18 to $29, Sharrott said. Sharrott Winery is at 370 S. Egg Harbor Road., in Winslow Township. Call 609-567-9463.
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