Urban Vineyard is not finished yet. The new downtown liquor store opened Friday with shelves sparsely filled and refrigerators not yet cold enough to chill the beer. But: It's open.
Located at 1500 Jackson Street, Urban Vineyard is the first of three establishments to fill the retail spaces in the bottom of the Interurban Building downtown. John McIntosh, one of three owners, said Friday that it's still in a sneak peek mode.
"We still have shipments coming in from some of our distributors," McIntosh said when I asked about the empty shelves. "A lot of it hasn't shown up yet."
Visitors to the shop are greeted with the loud, electric blue and fuchsia walls, and a ramp leads past the counters into shelves of liquor, beer and wine. The S-shaped shelves in the middle of the store hold the wine, which is organized on one side into countries and on the other into whites and reds.
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An open refrigerator holds an assortment of standard beers, like Corona, Guinness and Bud Light Lime. Several refrigerators filled with the same beer brands line the back wall and shelves of liquor are interspersed throughout the store.
With the whiskey selection as an indicator, Urban Vineyard is on its way to greatness. Currently the only robust section, this aisle featured dozens of Scotches and Bourbons, as well as a row of moonshine.
For a small store, the pictures of what will fill the shelves promise a delightful variety of vodka and tequila. The beers in stock were as boring as the lone box of Franzia on the wine shelves. There were almost no craft beers and the only Texas beers I found were Shiner and Lone Star, but McIntosh assured me they are taking requests from downtown residents. Something from Lakewood or Deep Ellum Brewing Company would be good for starters.
Urban Vineyard can fill a void for downtown residents, but it's still a work in progress. As are its soon-to-be next door neighbors Urban Orchard Market and Bar None Café, which the owners announced last week won't open until September.