After six years in business, the Bottle Shop on Greenville is closing at the end of the month. "This is bittersweet for all of us, but we want to go out the same way we came: with a party," owners posted on Facebook.
Starting at 4 p.m. Friday and running through close on Sunday, the shop will host live music, special tappings and best of all, they'll be releasing all of the rare, hard-to-get beers they've been cellaring over the years. Past and current employees of the shop will be on hand to celebrate.
"Bottle Shop has had a good run — Greenville is not the same street as it was when we opened," Stephanie Roethlisberger, the former general manager, says. "We couldn't be happier about all of the development in the area, but the parking isn't really conducive for retail business, i.e: You can't just park, run in and get a growler filled or grab a six pack and get outta there without having to valet park or walk half a mile. So, in essence it's just time."
Roethlisberger helped opened the shop and managed it until 2014. She now runs Craft Beer Cellar, but, upon leaving the Bottle Shop, was given part ownership in the store "to keep me vested in the cellar program that I had started," she says.
The Bottle Shop opened in summer 2011 as an extension of the World Beer Co. brand, which sold themed beer gift baskets online. The shop is owned by Clay Hartmann, a Dallas attorney who still works as a lawyer full time and has an infant at home. That, combined with slow sales, made Hartmann decide that now is the time to let the Bottle Shop go.
"Lower Greenville has just not been real friendly to us lately," Hartmann says, citing parking issues. "People don't want to valet their car to fill a growler."
With the ever-growing concentration of bars and restaurants on that stretch of Greenville, Hartmann says his regulars started avoiding the district during busy times. "The only traffic we get is walk-in traffic," he says. "Regulars don't like coming in on the weekends, which means weekend sales are down." Factor in months of construction in recent years and Hartmann says the shop has taken a major financial hit.
Even still, this may not be the end of the Bottle Shop — but it is definitely the end of the Bottle Shop in Lower Greenville. "We may reopen at some point in the next year or two — we're keeping signage and stuff," Hartmann says. He's looking into neighborhoods "that are more user-friendly" for retail shops than Greenville Avenue has become, he says. But he is a bit concerned about saturation in the Dallas market.
"Frankly, there's too many places in Dallas now," he says. "It used to be just Deep Ellum and Lower Greenville, now there's probably six or seven other districts people can go to. It's tough. As much as people think the economy is great, it's not that great."
To celebrate the end of an era, they're selling off their entire cellar collection, which is "massive," Hartmann says. "I don't think anyone in Dallas has a cellar as big as we do, and we're getting rid of everything."
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All weekend long, you can stop into the bar and bottle shop to taste or buy rare beers the shop has been collecting through the years. From 2013 editions of the now-discontinued Brooklyn Monster Ale to multiple vintages of Avery Beast, Mephistopheles and Samael's Ale, you're guaranteed to find some choice brews in this collection. Some beers have been in that cellar for about as long as the shop has been open. There will also be some interesting draft beers, like the 2011 Live Oak Tree Hugger and vintage Deep Ellum Wealth & Taste.
After this weekend, the shop will be open limited hours until their entire stock is sold off, but they'll definitely be closed by the end of January, Hartmann says.
"This weekend hopefully we'll have a good blow-out," he says.
The Bottle Shop, 2116 Greenville Ave.