Improved Beer Selection at Pavilions in Marina del Rey
I was pretty excited about the huge remodel that the old Von's in the Villa Marina Shopping Center was going through a handful of years ago. I figured they'd step it up in terms of inventory and service counters to trump the other supermarkets in the immediate vicinity - not.
The market was rebranded Pavilions, which is supposed to be more upscale and more service counterish, but it didn't seem much different from the old Von's except a(nother) Starbucks morphing into the enlarged floor space, a flower kiosk and a slightly improved bake section that was still of supermarket quality. No great cheese selection, no improved wine selection, no this, no that, and no better beers to speak of.
I think it's been close to two months now that I've noticed a small stand-alone section directly adjacent to the whiskey section toward the back of the liquor department where some unexpected and very good craft beers are in stock. Balast Point, Anderson Valley, Stone, Chimay and North Coast Brewing are among the vastly improved selection - someone is finally taking notice here. I really like the other options that offer quality selections within 10 minutes of this Pavilions, but the hours and the relative ease of parking make this option very attractive. Beerheads, take notice. If you're itching for Old Rasputin and Beverage Warehouse is closed already and Whole Foods on Lincoln just doesn't seem to be worth the parking or hipster hassle, Pavilions is waiting for you.
Heck - that department manager is showing his beer chops. And I hope this is a sign to the store manager that this is the direction the store should go if it wants to be more serious about getting customers in the store who are willing to spend money on quality goods. They obviously have to sell the staples that pay the overhead, but if they offer goods that are more specialized/artisan/quality, I'll gladly be a regular customer.