Food News

Spec's Liquor Working to Buy Sigel's, Spread Its Big-Box Booziness Throughout the Land

Word is out that Houston-based Spec's Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods is looking to buy Sigel's Beverages of Dallas. Per the Dallas Morning News, Sigel's president John Rector confirmed that the two companies were in talks. Sigel's has 10 area stores and a warehouse, which employs 250 people.

On a road trip over the holidays I noticed new Spec's in two different small towns, stores which could no doubt mean trouble for family-owned liquor stores in those towns.

This development helps explains what happened last week when I called Spec's corporate offices and politely asked how many stores they opened this year. I thought they might be proud of ("157! Thank you!"), but I was put on hold for a few minutes, then quickly told I was being transferred to the owner. In a very serious, deep voice, I was nicely told by the owner that disclosing their store openings would be like "handing my playbook over to my competitors." Followed by a moment of why-you-wanna-know, and how do I get you off my lawn?

I said something like, "Cool. That sure is a big deli you got there. Do you recommend the Reuben?" (He did.)

Now I get it. He was thinking about buying Dallas-based Sigel's and I was from Dallas, so he was feeling me out for what I may or may not (ding!) have known.

I love the Sigel's on Inwood in Addison, as I have proudly proclaimed here and here before. Particularly Theresa Magee in the deli. They've given her the freedom to do what she wants with the deli, and as a result she's created a unique spot with great finds and, more importantly, entertainment.

Surely Spec's wouldn't implement its own business plan and strategy for that deli in light of its past success, right? Depends on what's in that playbook, I guess.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.