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July 28, 2013

Putting a cork in it

GREENVILLE — A ceiling fan spun quietly Saturday afternoon above the front porch of The Blue Armadillo Winery in downtown Greenville, where untold numbers of glasses of wine have been consumed, cigars smoked and stories told during the past five years.

The wine, cigars and tall tales came to an end Saturday night, as the owners announced they were closing the business.

“The Blue Armadillo will be closing at the end of business tonight,” said Friendlee, who along with Joe Anselmo has operated the winery since the spring of 2008.

“Joe is going to take the license with him to Celina,” Friendlee said. “We will not be opening the doors again.”

Billing itself as “Greenville’s First Winery”, the Blue Armadillo’s origins began in the fall of 2007, when Friendlee, his wife Teresa and her son Bart took over the 100 year-old building at 2702 Lee Street and revamped the historic structure.

Friendlee met Anselmo of Carmela Winery in March of 2008 and began the partnership. The Blue Armadillo Winery was one of five downtown Greenville businesses to officially open on May 31, 2008, during the “My Downtown is Back” celebration.

“It’s been a great 62 months,” Friendlee said, thanking all those who had supported the winery. “Greenville has been good to us.”

Friendlee said he intended to step back and get some rest, “and think about what I want to do later.”

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