A Liquor Store, A Wine Bar, or what?

I just recently blogged about the demise of Planet Smoothie in Elm Street. When I walked by the empty store today I saw a little sign at the door saying "Cool Vines" and then something about where to drop of deliveries for this address.

So what is happening here? Are we getting a wine store, competing with the liquor basket across the street? Or will this become a wine bar, which - to my knowledge - would be a first for Westfield? Or is this something totally different, like a flower shop?

A Wine focused liquor store that would provide some effective competition to the liquor basket wouldn't be a bad thing. It would keep prices in check and it would increase the wine selection for all the BYOB restaurants in downtown Westfield. In my opinion, for a small neighborhood type liquor store the Liquor Basket actually does have an OK selection even for a customer with some interest in wine. Only if you are peculiar about a chilled white wine (and don't want a Chardonnay) you may have to make a compromise.

Would Westfield be able to sustain another liquor store in downtown? I guess this depends on the model. If it would focus on more high-end wine and specialties, has a decent selection of non-traditional chilled whites and knowledgeable service they probably had a chance.

Or a wine bar? I would certainly like and welcome this idea with open arms. A wine bar with a good selection of reasonably priced wines by the glass and some appetizer to complement is a very appealing place to hang out in the evening. If done the right way, I think something like this would certainly fly quite well in Westfield.

To shed some light on this I did some research. If you look for "cool vines" not much useful comes back, but for "coolvines" there actually is already a Web Site. And this pretty much confirms the idea with the wine store. The site has very limited information right now. But it seems they want to build there business on simplifying the process of selecting wine with a systematic approach. OK, many smart people have tried that before and failed, but their approach actually sounds plausible. One slogan is "We didn’t take the nuance out of wine, just the confusion." I like that idea. Based on some other sources it seems they are pursuing a national approach, so this is not a local store and combine online and local retailing. A post in another forum provides some additional information. Still, their business model isn't totally clear to me.

Not sure what their plans are exactly for Westfield, but it would be cool to have their pioneer store in town.

Signing Off - The Westfield Blogger.

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