Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Inside Downtown Fine Spirits & Wine

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 5:29 PM

As I mentioned in Side Dish a few weeks ago, a new liquor store called Downtown Fine Spirits & Wine has opened in the former antique market space at 103 S. Wahsatch Ave.

Owner Gregor Huesgen (a consultant on upcoming eco improvements on our Indy offices) has promised to differentiate himself with a couple very noticeable factors.

The first, a 30-kilowatt solar array on the rooftop that powers most of the building, sets the store up to fulfill a promise on an outdoor banner (new LED signs haven't yet arrived) that reads: "the greenest liquor shop in town."

The second is an array of imported antique cabinets and shelves that create a very upscale feel and unique shopping setting.

Take a quick stroll through this slideshow to view the fine wood works (most from India), LED-lit beer coolers (which use 25 percent as much energy as regular lights), Colorado craft beer and spirits selections and replica statues of the first emperor of China's Terracotta Army.

Downtown Fine Spirits & Wine
  • Matthew Schniper
  • This shop is no monkey business. Displaying only four bottles of wine on a nice antique piece of furniture isn't a luxury most liquor stores could afford.

Huesgen offers a 3 percent discount on purchases if you're paying with cash, and otherwise has set his prices to be very competitive — I noticed in passing that one craft spirit I'm fond of was marked for $3 less than the most recent store at which I purchased it.

Store manager and buyer Sarah Evans says that by Huesgen's mandate, she's focused on purchasing as many organic, sustainable and biodynamic products possible, as well as a wide array of Colorado products.

Evans, by the way, comes from many years in the restaurant industry locally, including recent bartending at Crystal Park Cantina — she made the awesome margaritas I raved about here — and a few years at La Petit Maison back in its heyday.

Huesgen owes his current liquid worth (get it?) to many years as an investment banker.

Downtown Fine Spirits & Wine
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Forget the common "shoplifters will be prosecuted" sign. A stone-cold army guards this hooch supply.

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