Harry’s Liquor Shop was founded in 1941 by Harry Pollack who, along with his wife Betty, ran the business until his untimely passing in 1968. Betty continued to manage the store with the help of her son Saul until he decided to transition from a teaching/coaching career to a full time role in the late 1970’s. In 2011 Saul sold what had become Harry’s Wine & Liquor Market to his son, Scott and two long time employees, William Miller and Patrick Monteleone. In 2023, Renzo Kian, a long-time employee and manager of the beer and spirits operations, became the fourth partner. Now in its third generation of Ownership, Harry’s remains a true family business with both Patrick and Scott part of husband/wife teams that work in the business.
Like the prior generations of Ownership; William, Patrick, Renzo and Scott believe that the key ingredient for longevity in any service oriented business is the dedication and expertise of the staff. At Harry’s, we are fortunate to have some of the best people in the wine and liquor business, a number of whom have been with us for many years and all of whom we like to think of as family.
William Miller, Owner
William has spent his entire career in the food, wine and hospitality industries. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Johnson & Wales College with an A.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management and a B.S. in Hospitality Management, William finished his formal studies with a certificate from the Hotel Institute of Management in Montreaux, Switzerland. William has worked in the Connecticut retail wine industry since 1987 and joined Harry’s as the head of the wine department in 2001. Upon joining Harry’s, William’s first order of business was to re-imagine the store’s wine selection to align more closely with customer preferences. With his extensive palate, William has spent the past 20 years, finding new labels and establishing new trends in the wine business. William has been a go-to source of expertise for both novices and serious oenophiles alike and especially delights in helping customers pair a meal with the appropriate wine for the best dining experience.
William is well-known in industry circles and regularly partners with local restaurants and distributors to offer wine dinners and tastings for his customers. William takes great pride in his team’s execution of his original shared vision with prior Harry’s owner Saul Pollack…to establish Harry’s as the foremost wine destination store in the area.
Patrick Monteleone, Owner
After spending the first half of his career honing his skills in local restaurants, his burgeoning love for wine combined with the grueling lifestyle of a restauranteur led Patrick to a position in the retail business at Cork and Keg in Shelton. Two years later in 2004, Patrick joined Harry’s as a wine team member and quickly succeeded to a management role in the store. As an owner and the store manager for the past ten years, Patrick has had significant influence on every aspect of Harry’s business including the introduction of Harry’s Wine School, Harry’s community outreach and, with Renzo’s help, the introduction of Harry’s well-respected single barrel program. Patrick has worked hard to carry on Harry’s traditions of customer service and education through the transition from the second generation to the third generation ownership and takes great pride in the fact that Harry’s still runs like a “family business”.
Patrick has been passionate about cooking since he was a kid when he could be found in the kitchen helping to make meals for his large family. These days, Patrick enjoys preparing meals for family and friends and loves the challenge of finding the perfect wine pairing. Having travelled extensively through many overseas wine regions, Patrick enjoys wines from Europe and, most especially, Italy.
Scott Pollack, Owner
The grandson of our store’s namesake, Scott is the third and least visible partner of Harry’s. Scott cut his teeth working in stock and as a cashier when he was in high school and home on college break, but has since pursued a career in finance and commercial real estate. With over 30 years of exposure to Harry’s, Scott has certainly picked up some product knowledge along the way, but not enough that William or Patrick will allow him on the sales floor to help customers. Nevertheless, Scott is actively involved in the business behind the scenes with roles in finance, marketing and strategic planning.
Scott enjoys whiskey and has tagged along on past trips to distilleries to “help” Patrick and Renzo select the whiskeys for Harry’s single barrel program. Scott also enjoys drinking Italian and California Reds.
Renzo Kian, Owner
Renzo started at Harry’s in 2006 stocking shelves, quickly became the manager of the beer department and is our foremost expert on beer, whiskey, tequila and other spirits. Renzo has made multiple trips to Belgium, England and other European countries visiting breweries such as Samuel Smith and Cantillon to learn about traditional beermaking, food pairing and European culture. Back home he put his knowledge to use with our burgeoning craft beer program, introducing and re-introducing both local and traditional breweries. His trips to Colorado, Vermont, Upstate New York, Florida, Wisconsin and other states helped him gain an appreciation for beer brewed domestically as compared to the European traditions. From those trips he began to focus on our local craft beer world and set about leading the market in touting Connecticut’s beer culture. Renzo is also an integral part of our very successful whiskey program and has weighed in on every single barrel bourbon and rye we have selected.
Renzo arranged Off-Shore Pour, Fairfield County’s first beer festival followed by the Harbor Brewfest in 2012 which Harry’s sponsored for a number of years. Other fests were to follow including the Connecticut Cask Fest in 2015. Renzo was also the creator of the Taste of Blackrock to benefit the Burroughs Center, a community center where he has taught ESL (English as a second language).
Scott Tiberi, Wine Sales
Scotty has spent nearly his entire 30 year professional career in the wine and spirits industry, mostly in retail. For almost 20 years, he owned and operated a top retail store in Westchester County, NY which he sold in 2009. He took some time, but eventually found his way to Harry's and has been an important member of our wine staff since 2014. A self-described “anti-wine snob”, Scotty enjoys interacting with Harry’s customers no matter what their level of wine knowledge.
Scotty has traveled extensively throughout most of the well-known wine growing regions of the world and enjoys wines and spirits from all of them. Scotty is also an accomplished musician who has played guitar at many well-known clubs and bars in New York City and the surrounding areas.
Kelsey Beglin, Wine Sales
Kelsey joined our staff in 2014 after working across town at Brooklawn Liquor for a couple of years. Kelsey is a quick learner allowing her to take on more and more responsibility as she has transitioned through multiple departments at Harry’s. An original position as a cashier was followed by a sales and stock position in the beer department before she became a member of our wine team. Her job responsibilities include stocking, assisting customers and helping taste products to decide which ones to place on our shelves. Kelsey describes herself as thankful she has gotten the opportunity to learn and taste with some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry allowing her palate to develop over the years.
Like many people, Kelsey’s personal beverage preferences are situational. She has a special love for beers from IPA’s to smoked lagers to sours. She enjoys many different styles of whiskey, tequila, mezcal and gin. But she really believes that there is a wine for every drinker and she especially enjoys helping customers to find the wine to match their particular tastes. Some of her favorites include: Chianti, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Champagne. When not working at Harry’s, Kelsey enjoys music and travel.
Janice Monteleone, Owner’s Wife and Office Manager
Janice met Patrick at a wine tasting and their love, and her passion for wine, blossomed. She has long since left her paralegal files behind for her role at Harry's which includes the management of purchasing and inventory control in our POS Database along with management of the backroom. Of course, when the store gets busy you are likely to see her pitching in at a register or wrapping gifts during the holiday season. She also oversees the administration of and actively participates in Harry’s Wine School.
Jan has long been nicknamed “Bubbles” because of her love for champagne, which is her preferred libation whether celebrating a special occasion or just enjoying an evening drink. Jan loves to travel with Patrick to the wine regions of Italy, Spain and the US, where they've enjoyed great wine and food. She is always ready for the next adventure and she will always be the smiling face at the office window.
Millie DeVito Pollack, Owner’s Wife and Bookkeeper
Millie is Scott’s wife and another one of the employees who keeps Harry’s running smoothly behind the scenes. Millie brings her prior work experience in accounting and IT to her role as Harry’s bookkeeper, chief organizer and administrator of company policies. Millie is also the property manager for Harry’s Corner, and utilizing the skills that she learned as the daughter of a contractor, she has been known to perform small repair jobs in the store.
When it comes to her beverage preferences, Millie likes to try new things, but eventually tends to revert to her favorites which include rosé wines and On The Rocks pre-made Cosmos in the summer and Italian Reds or coffee based cocktails as the cooler weather sets in.
Brian Borsics, Wine Sales
A musician and teacher originally from Texas, Brian came to Harry’s after a decade and a half in NYC where he worked in musical instrument sales and built a private music instruction business which he still operates in his spare time. The pandemic not only prompted a change of scenery from Brooklyn to Black Rock, but it also presented an opportunity for a career change; he has joined the wine team here to work with and learn from the best in the business and see how he can best apply old and new skills within the wine industry. Brian enjoys learning about the craftsmanship, culture, science, and history of wine and spirits as much as he does imbibing it, so willing customers may occasionally be offered a fun fact or interesting anecdote to pair with their purchase.
Brian's drink preferences tend to change with the seasons—and he loves to incorporate local ingredients and bounty from his own garden in his cocktails—so he's drinking in the Spring a [fresh] mint julep or an orange wine; a gin and tonic with rosemary and blueberries or a session IPA in the Summer; Autumn evenings often find him by the firepit with an Applejack Rabbit or an earthy Pinot Noir ; and—like many—tawny port and California Cabernet Sauvignon will get him and his cats Bill and Ted through the coldest winter nights. ...and sherry. Always sherry.
Taryn Petersen, Head Cashier
Taryn began her career in education, working as a building substitute in Stratford and eventually teaching math at the middle school level. Looking to take a short break from teaching, she applied to a job opening here at Harry’s. Realizing that the adult population (and a cash register instead of a whiteboard) was a better fit, she has been here ever since. She has learned a lot about the workings of the store over her years here, helping anytime and anywhere as needed, and recently accepted a promotion to front of house manager.