By Emily G. Peters
The term “liquor store” conjures up visions of a place to grab a six-pack and a salty snack—someplace convenient, but not exactly a destination. Arcadia’s Vendome Wine and Spirits seeks to change that by putting their own twist on the modern bottle shop.
“We are a fully featured bottle shop with a focus on smaller and boutique/craft brands,” said Jeff Musial, consultant and general manager of Vendome. “We have a full wine and beer bar with wine on an oxygen-free dispenser, draft beer, walk-in humidor and a full scale coffee program, complete with pour-over and classic espresso drinks, using locally roasted beans from blends to single origin.”
Vendome turned on the taps in summer 2017, the latest installment of several historic Vendomes that pepper Los Angeles county. Owned by husband-and-wife team Vickie and Charles Tran, the Arcadia location is expansive, furnishing everything for your morning latte routine to your post-work evening tipple. The unusual mash-up of cafe/wine bar/bottle shop results from both the Trans’ and Musial’s expertise in the retail liquor business.
“There are plenty of quality bottle shops throughout Los Angeles, but not all of them have the fully operational battle station that is our bar, covering all the bases like we do. I doubt if any of them have a La Marzocco espresso machine,” said Musial. Vendome’s penchant for unusual brands also makes them an excellent resource for treasure-hunting liquorists.
“A standout must-try product line that has really impressed us is Cleveland Underground Whiskey,” Musial said. “They have some process that allows them to make whiskey in a very short amount of time that tastes like it’s been aged for years, if not decades. They’re winning medals and accolades left and right.” Among Vendome’s beers, wines, ciders, even the cold brew—Musial finds it impossible to choose a favorite.
“They’re all fantastic,” he said, “and since we have the retail business, we’re able to keep our bar prices lower than if the bar was our only revenue stream.”
Six months into life in Arcadia and Vendome’s new year’s resolutions are steadily growing. Outside of the holiday season, the shop regularly hosts two to three events a week, and plan to add live music, food trucks, movie nights, pub crawls and more to their calendar. Earlier opening hours may soon grace the menu, too—something spurred by community feedback that’s proved invaluable to the Vendome team.
“I speak with someone from the city in one capacity or another every week. It’s good to feel regularly connected like that. It’s like having a support group,” said Musial. “They really want us to succeed.”
Vendome Wine and Spirits is located at 103 E. Santa Clara St. in Arcadia. Contact them at www.vendomearcadia.com | 626.461.5498 and follow along on Facebook @vendomearcadia and Twitter @vendome_arcadia for updates on upcoming events.