Grocery shopping can definitely drive one to drink, though that usually has to wait until you get the bags home. But shoppers at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods have long been enjoying beer and wine at the store's on-site bar, and soon they'll likely be taking it to the next level with the addition of hard alcohol. Imagine the inspired grocery choices one makes after a martini or three?
The store recently got the nod from Community Board 4 to serve cocktails at On Tap, the store's 40-seat bar tucked between the dairy case and the body products, though DNAinfo notes they'll still have to win approval from the State Liquor Authority before proceeding. Once approved, though, the store bar will look into a "curated list" of cocktails to supplement the beer and wine they offer as well, according to Whole Foods rep Michael Sinatra.
Though specific plans aren't set in stone, Sinatra tells us the current locavore movement should play into the cocktail offerings. "Much like you see local beers and local wines in that space, looking at artisanal spirits, mixers and fruits that are made locally or made in a fun small batch artisanal way...I think you'll see is the direction we do go in," he revealed. Though he couldn't confirm, Sinatra said he didn't envision a fully-stocked bar where one could order Negroni or other standard cocktail. More likely, guests will order from a pre-selected cocktail menu geared to pair with the bar's food offerings.
There's no definitive opening time at this point but the store is hoping to debut the new drinks sometime this summer or maybe in the fall. Shoppers won't be able to take their martinis into the store proper, but Sinatra says that the bar has been popular with folks popping in for a quick drink before or after the do their shopping. "We've had a husband or wife who hangs out while the other ones are shopping," he quipped.
Whole Foods operates about 70 of these types of bars in stores across the country, and Sinatra says they're a popular feature wherever they open. Though the Gowanus community board made a fuss about the store serving liquor at its new Brooklyn outpost, Sinatra says they hope to move forward with plans to run a similar cocktail program to supplement the rooftop beer garden.