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Where are the decent new liquor stores?

Hi. I recently went to buy a bottle of Creme de Cassis for a new cocktail I want to try at the old/new liquor store, but found they didn't stock it. Neither did the nearby grocery store. The 2 larger state stores I used to frequent (on 4th in SODO and on 7th downtown) are now closed. Where can one find a decent selection of liquor, liqueurs, etc. these days?

I don't want this to turn into a discussion of the change in laws, or a bunch of posts bemoaning or praising the recent privatization of the stores, I'm just hoping to get a sense of where the best places are for selection and price. I understand things are still shaking out and we won't really get a full picture of our new situation, but in the meantime I would like to hear about what you've discovered.


EDIT: Forget this. I just found the other thread on this topic, and I don't know how/if it's possible to delete a thread. I guess we're all curious.

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  1. I haven't had chance to stop and check but Esquin Wine is now selling spirits. You might try giving them a call. Of grocery stores the one I saw that I thought had the best selection was the Uptown Metropolitan Market.

    1 Reply
    1. re: knowspicker

      I've heard from a co-worker that Esquin has a pretty good selection. Posts elsewhere on this board report that Wine World in Wallingford is also aiming to have a wide variety of spirits.

    2. I understand that the system is currently somewhat chaotic. Give everyone a month or two to sort things out and then we can see who really has the best selection.

      1. I know it is bellevue but here is what you may be looking for:
        Total Wine and More to Open Thursday June 28
        Bellevue will get a liquor superstore starting Thursday June 28, after Total Wine and More opens next to Uwajimaya.


        I have been waiting for one of these superstores to open up because I think they will not only provide the selection but also will compete price-wise with the grocery stores who are taking advantage of us all while the rest of the liquor stores get up and running.

        My experience from living in other cities is that these places are the perfect mix of selection and price. No I don't work for any sort of liquor store.

        1 Reply
        1. re: White Castle

          I agree White Castle. Hard to beat the huge selection of wine, hard liquor and beer. The sheer volume of their sales should force competitive pricing. Total is a welcome addition to the area.

        2. Wine World and Spirits in Fremont should have it. They are currently stocked with Spirits and a very knowledgeable staff, have a few 15 minutes free parking spots in their lot and just a fun store to be in all-around! I'd second Esquin, but haven't personally been there to verify how large their selection is. Keep it local! no need to drive to bellevue chains.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hungeekat

            +1 for Wine World, as I like the staff and management, and they are working hard to listen to customers; if they don't have it, they will work to order it, or find out where else you can get it right now.

            And no, I don't work for them. Just shop there - oh, and entered the chili cook off contest a couple months ago - didn't win, but still like the people there and the good help on buying product from them:)

          2. I'm reviving this thread b/c the CH team (understandably) closed the other thread on the subject. Again, just wondering about good new liquor store options as you discover them. I read the article in the Seattle Times today about Total Wine & More and BevMo, but as a practical matter going to Bellevue or Tacoma for a bottle of liquor isn't going to happen often for this Seattleite.

            Anyway, if you find something interesting, I/we would love to hear about it. Thanks.

            5 Replies
            1. re: The Loaf

              While I can understand not going to Bellevue every time you need a bottle, Total is definitely worth checking out - and they are saying a Bev Mo is also going into Bellevue in September. Maybe worth a trip every once in a while to stock up.

              1. re: FoodDee

                Visited Total Wine for the first time this weekend. It is to those who like a drink what Target is to housewives. Want flavored vodka, they have 50 flavors by 12 different manufacturers. Want Vinho Verde? 6 brands and 10% off if you buy at least 6 bottles. Mix and match. Free beer and wine tastings.

              2. re: The Loaf

                Just back from my first trip to Total in Bellevue and I can assure you it won't be my last! The place was mobbed with everyone ooohhhhing and aahhhhing over the huge selection and the prices. I was just going to get a muddler to make a summer drink with Limoncello, Red Berry Ciroc, fresh raspberries, basil, lemon slice and simple syrup. Ended up getting three bottles of Radius wine as well. Staff is very helpful and extraordinarily knowledgeable. Definitely worth the trip!

                1. re: firecracker

                  If you want to stay in the Seattle area, i highly recommend what was the State Liquor store in the West Seattle Junction (next to the big new QFC and near Trader Joes). The woman who owns it used to supply alot of the high end downtown businesses and she knows her stuff. Amazing selection and great service.

                  1. re: firecracker

                    Just visited Total and was similarly impressed on every level. My concern would have been they just stock mass-produced stuff, but they actually have a far deeper selection of craft beers, local wines and spirits then I would have imagined. They even have a growler fill station with a dozen nanobrew taps. I was shopping for liquor and the pricing was vastly better (like $7-11 less per 750ml) than the places I had been frequenting, and also better than former state stores (by a lesser margin).

                    One complaint is that they had only some of the Haus Alpenz portfolio of craft apertifs and liqueurs (Rothman & Winter, Smith & Cross were among other notable absences).

                    I do feel badly for local indpendent retailers who say they just can't compete with Total and the other national conglomerates. I have to wonder with pricing that far off--like literally 25-35% more thanTotal--if they are being creative in buying and negotiating. I would pay some margin more to support the local, but with 20% tax compounding the total price, it becomes impossible at some point.

                2. QFC at University Village - their liquor "store" is in the old state store just to the right after you enter from 45th St. Big selection, and a manager told me they'd be happy to place orders (by the case) for items they don't normally stock.

                  1. Just went past the location of the old Northgate state liquor store. There's a BevMo going in there. I'm glad there's one coming in that's closer than Southcenter or the eastside (?). Keeping my fingers crossed for a good experience there!

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: fracklefoodie

                      I visited the Southcenter BevMo last week. I was underwhelmed on every level.

                        1. re: Gizmo56

                          I also hit a BevMo a month ago and much prefer Total.

                          1. re: Gizmo56

                            Was it different than the ones they have in California? I haven't been to Total but I always make BevMo my first stop when visiting California.

                            1. re: Lauren

                              I have not been to a California BevMo, so i can't say, but the Tukwila store was a big disappointment.

                              1. re: Gizmo56

                                The California BevMo's are nice, but they're overrated by Californians nostalgic about Californians. I would put these new Total Wine stores up against a true BevMo any day (and I'd put Spec's out of Texas up against both of them). The one in Soutchentre is not even worth going to, though.

                                1. re: Quintious

                                  I'm a native Washingtonian so no nostalgia here. BevMo has served us well when we're traveling. I can buy cheap cocktail glasses, Junipero gin, Dolin vermourth, a jar of castlevatrano olives, orange bitters, cocktails picks and decent snacks all under one roof. What's not to love? I'm headed to San Antonio/Austin tomorrow, I'll check out Spec's while we're there.

                        2. Total Wine & Spirits in Bellevue and Tukwila. These places are *awesome*

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Quintious

                            I will be stopping in to the Southcenter Total on Monday.

                            1. re: Quintious

                              Except for how far they are from North Seattle. Ugh, I hate the idea of liquor as destination shopping.

                              1. re: fracklefoodie

                                Yeah, I can't really help you, there. Maybe Wine World? I don't know much about the North end - you couldn't pay me to live there.