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Favourite LCBO in Toronto? Setting up full bar

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redleaf55 Sep 19, 2008 08:19 AM

I know there are some alcohol related boards but I still think this is the best place for this question.

Hi, we've finally got our own place and I think I ought to expand my offerings to guests beyond my current stash of whiskies. I think I know what I would like to have in there but I need a bit of an education for choosing amongst the different brands.

Which LCBO has helpful - patient - staff? I figure I'm going to spend a fair amount and want to know I spent it wisely. I.e. I don't generally drink rum and so know very little about it. Also true for most sweet liqueurs.

Thanks.

oh and feel free to list your own favourite that you think I ought to consider.

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  1. The Chowhound Team RE: redleaf55 Sep 19, 2008 09:20 AM

    Folks, please keep posts limited to where the most helpful LCBO stores are. redleaf55, if you want to start another thread on the Spirits board asking for recommendations, you can post a link to it here so others can follow it and respond. Thanks!

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      hungry_pangolin RE: redleaf55 Sep 19, 2008 10:13 AM

      I drink very little in the way of spirits, but regularly drink wine. While the Temple of Dionysis (LCBO at Summerhill) has the best selection and environment in the city, I find that recently the staff can be unhelpful to the point of being unpleasant. The staff at the Vintages in the Manulife Centre at Bay and Bloor were quite friendly, and helpful, but since that has closed and been merged with the expanded regular LCBO in the Manulife Centre, I don't know whether they have gone there or elsewhere.

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        Sinfulia RE: redleaf55 Sep 19, 2008 11:25 AM

        I find the LCBO on Queen's Quay just west of the Loblaws has the best selection of wine. The location at 401 & Weston is monstrous, so if you're looking for a mega-shopping experience, i'd go there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sinfulia
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          tochowchick RE: Sinfulia Sep 19, 2008 02:53 PM

          I agree with Sinfulia re: Queen's Quay...it would be my choice...I've always found the staff helpful there too in addition to having a wide range of products available

          1. re: tochowchick
            ms. clicquot RE: tochowchick Sep 19, 2008 03:08 PM

            Another vote for Queen's Quay. Good selection and service. I've even found things there that they didn't have at Summerhill, such as Vin Santo.

            1. re: ms. clicquot
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              MindGrinder RE: ms. clicquot Sep 19, 2008 09:53 PM

              Ya the Queen's Quay staff went beyond helpful last time we were there and we had to find the perfect wine for entertaining.

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          panko RE: redleaf55 Sep 19, 2008 06:13 PM

          I agree with others... Queen's Quay. Have also found the staff at Royal York very helpful. At Manulife, it really depends on who you get.

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            stapler RE: redleaf55 Sep 20, 2008 05:07 AM

            I like the one at Bayview Village. And they have cooking classes. And really, really nice staff.

            2 Replies
            1. re: stapler
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              millygirl RE: stapler Sep 20, 2008 07:50 AM

              There is one guy at the Queen's Quay that is incredibly helpful. Plus I like that they post up what they received from the weeks' release so you don't have to waste time searching. I also like the Summerhill location and find if you go during the week, or at least not peak periods, some of the staff are very helpful there also.

              I should clarify, by Queen's Quay I am referring to the very small LCBO attached to the Loblaw's store, not the main large one on Cooper Street.

              1. re: millygirl
                Googs RE: millygirl Sep 20, 2008 11:59 AM

                To further clarify, the proper name for the location on Queen's Quay west of the Loblaw's is actually Cooper Street. The location on Queen's Quay that is in the Queen's Quay Market is called Loblaw's.

                Helpfulness has less to do with location and more to do with staff. There are a couple of great people at Cooper. I'm thinking in particular of the 50-ish woman with glasses and brown curly hair. She goes above and beyond every time. The 40-ish, blonde-ish guy with an accent-ish is also very knowledgeable and pleasant. There's another gentleman there that's a complete idiot. He assumes all buyers are neophytes. Based on that, he tries to get away with the minimum of effort and the maximum of bull. You know who you are!!!

            2. Bob Catt RE: redleaf55 Sep 20, 2008 08:52 AM

              The stock is undoubtedly larger at Queen's Quay, but my preference is the local LCBO on Danforth Ave. east of Victoria Park - for its staff. They're not only a helpful bunch, they're friendly and a number of them are funny - especially one guy with a white moustache. (No it's not off topic, Chowhound monitors, but I'll bet you cut this parenthesized comment!)

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                graydyn RE: redleaf55 Sep 22, 2008 12:52 PM

                If you can get a list together of what your looking for, you can do searches on the LCBO website that will tell you what stores are stocking what you are looking for. You can also ask the store that you end up at to order things in for you.
                If you do some random searches, I think you will find that the Bayview Village has the largest selection by far, especially if your going to stock wine. They also have a small tasting bar setup that will let you try a few liquors.

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