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New owner takes over First Crush in Potsdam

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POTSDAM — First Crush Wine Bar and Bistro has changed hands, but little will change at the downtown eatery, according to new owner Geralyn Barney.

“You don’t fix what ain’t broke,” Ms. Barney said.

Former owner Thomas M. DeRosa sold the restaurant to Ms. Barney in October, choosing to focus on his family and his other business ventures, Ms. Barney said.

“He likes to move on to different things. It’s a great spot, and nobody wanted to see it closed, so he encouraged me to buy it,” she said.

Mr. DeRosa works as a surgical supply chain manager at Canton-Potsdam Hospital and is CEO of Persone Staffing, a human resources firm in Potsdam.

Ms. Barney was the manager of the wine bar and bistro before taking over, and worked there for the past seven years. She said she is happy to take the reins, and was eager to purchase the restaurant where she has worked for so long.

She said she expects it to continue to be a successful venture.

She doesn’t plan to shake up what she says is a winning formula. First Crush will continue to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with Starbucks coffee during the day and a selection of wine and beer at night.

The store has been open since 2005, when it replaced Robinson Market at 32 Market St., and loyal customers return regularly, Ms. Barney said.

“We’re still very, very busy,” she said.

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