Wine Bank - under new management? (San Diego)
I went to the Wine Bank and the wooden crates of wine were gone. Replaced by steel gray shelving. The top floor had new shelving filled with liquor. A new man I didn't recognize was talking about "reorganizing" the store and said it would take "a couple of months". I saw the (former?) owner sitting with packed things. I nodded to the owner, who nodded back. It felt a little odd/ maybe rude to ask if there was new management.
I also noticed that my old favorite bottles of wine seemed to have gone up in price. Gone where the helpful notices about wine reviews/ratings. And the atmosphere was definately different.
My impression was that it had been sold and that I might as well go to a chain wine store now. I didn't realized how much I loved it the way that it was.
Yeah I think you're right. The last time I went in there (which was about two weeks ago) there was a younger guy manning the register, and the store was partially reorganized. The former owner was sitting behind the counter watching the goings on. I went to look for a particular Scotch and couldn't find it right away, then saw that they had shuffled things around.
Honestly, the new owner didn't really give me the greatest impression. I was looking for a couple of specific things, either the Laphroaig Quarter-Cask, or the 10 year old cask strength. When I asked the guy, he pointed to where it was, then told me they also had the 30 year old, which I didn't ask for. I came back with the cask strength, and he reiterated that he had the 30 year old. Then he told me that the 30 year old was John Gotti's favorite Scotch, and that the former owner was friends with John Gotti.
Really, I just wanted to buy the Scotch and leave. I hope it's not a change for the worse, but too often it is.
Yes, the Wine Bank has a new owner. That said, THE key guy, Bryan, is still there so ask for him. Other former employees like Dennis and David are still there as well and they are very helpful. The metal shelves referred to above will be replaced. There will be some positives from the change but there will be some negative as well. I trust that Josh, above, is not the Josh who now works for a competitor. Sadly, I think that will be some price increases but going to a chain store (BevMo?)is just spiting yourself.
New ownership. I was in yesterday, it was sad to see. You know how the place felt like you were in a wine cellar that just happens to sell wine? Now it's like you're in a BevMo only without the great beer selection.
Oh well. There's still the San Diego Wine Company up on Eastgate Mall. Go see them...
I was there recently while they were still reorganizing, looking for a Muscato D'Asti that my wife really loves. Since they had not finished putting out the dessert wines, someone stopped directing the workers and searched through the inventory to find it, and gave us some really nice advice about Sauternes. I am always wary when a great retail shop changes hands and totally revamps, but the new management made a nice impression on us, and we would definitely give them a chance.