Downtown drinks

As more residences and businesses have been added to the fabric of Downtown, retail options slowly are coming online to meet that growing community – from restaurants and bars to service options such as dry cleaning and liquor stores.

Lack took a chance that paid off in his nearly 3,000-square-foot space at 824 N. Broadway.

The new kid Downtown in the liquor-store business is Art Rutledge, whose 800-square-foot store, Vice, is street-level at the Legacy at Arts Quarter apartments, 317 N. Walker. He opened at the end of October.

Automobile Alley and N.W. Ninth are now home to restaurants and stores that provide a steady stream of foot traffic. When Lack opened, the area was in the process of revitalization, but often barren after 5 p.m.

“I knew plans were in the works to revitalize Automobile Alley,” he says. “People needed some new, refreshing retail Downtown.”

On weekdays, he is busiest at lunch, and then between 4 and 7 p.m.

“It’s an easy stop on Broadway, and then they can get on the interstate and go home,” he says.

At Vice, most of Rutledge’s customers come from upstairs at Legacy and those who live in Sycamore Square to the south.

“When people come in, I try to find out if they live or work Downtown,” he says. “Most of my clients are people who live Downtown.”

While neither shop is just for connoisseurs, both carry a selection for the value-conscious. But you won’t find Thunderbird or Wild Irish Rose in these establishments.

“The pricing is across the board,” Lack says. “We sell high-end wines, and we carry value wines, as well.”

Rutledge describes his pricing in the mid-range to upper end for wines, liquor and craft beers.

Both Lack and Rutledge say
they would rather a customer leave with a wine they will enjoy rather
than the one with the biggest price tag.

Jane
Jenkins, president of Downtown OKC Inc., says both shops help further
fill the demand for service options for Downtown workers and residents.
She says stores Downtown must be within walking distance of residences
and have ample parking. Both shops have free, two-hour parking out
front, and Broadway Wine has a reserved line of spaces on the north side
of the building.

“These
are indicative of the businesses that are coming in to meets the needs
of the growing residential population,” Jenkins says. “Retailers are
recognizing that Downtown residents are perhaps not out and about in
their vehicles as much.”

BUY THE BOTTLE

GREY GOOSE VODKA (750 ML)

BROADWAY WINE MERCHANTS $31.29

VICE $34

BYRON’S $24.68

JACK DANIEL’S TENNESSEE WHISKEY (750 ML)

BROADWAY WINE MERCHANTS $21.29

VICE $23.50

BYRON’S $17.05

ROMBAUER CABERNET SAUVIGNON (750 ML)

BROADWAY WINE MERCHANTS $40.99

VICE $42

BYRON’S $36.78

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