New downtown Glenwood Springs liquor store to open Saturday
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A four-year journey to find the perfect spot to open a new liquor store ultimately steered Kevan and Sharon Brady to one of the hottest corners in town.
The Bradys’ new Cooper Wine & Spirits, located in the historic 1899 building at the northeast corner of Eighth and Cooper, is set to open this Saturday, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday next week.
“We looked at several different locations before we came across this one,” said Kevan Brady, who was in the wholesale end of the wine and spirits business for more than 25 years in Atlanta and the Midwest before he and Sharon moved to Glenwood Springs in 2007.
When the former tenant, Mac Bytes, went out of business last spring, Brady said he immediately contacted building owner Kurt Trede to see about moving into the space.
After receiving what ended up being the city’s first new liquor store license since Red Mountain Wine & Spirits opened in Glenwood Meadows in 2005, the Bradys began work converting the unique space to match their long-envisioned dream.
“We really wanted to be a part of the community where we lived, and being downtown is a huge bonus,” said Sharon Brady, who designed the interior decor.
The 1,400-square-foot space, with its 14-foot original brick walls, newly restored pine wood floors and ornate tin drop-ceiling, is accented by a pair of authentic wine barrels from the Alfred Eames Cellars in Paonia at each corner of the main checkout counter.
“I love the history and the feel of the space, but we also wanted to bring a modern touch,” she said of the more contemporary color schemes that round out the design.
The store will feature a 12-door reach-in beer cooler, room for 250 different wines and a special micro-distillery display featuring a selection of Colorado spirits.
“It’s exciting to be downtown, and especially on this corner,” said Kevan Brady, gesturing to the new Glenwood Springs Branch Library in the Cooper Commons building on the opposite corner.
“Our feeling is that Cooper is an active pedestrian center, and we can cater to a market that includes locals as well as tourists,” he said.
“We have two million tourists a year that come through Glenwood Springs who spend 94 million dollars,” he added, citing the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s latest Trends report. “That’s a community that needs to be served.”
Springs Liquors, located on the Sixth Street side of the Colorado River and Interstate 70, has served the downtown area for more than three decades. But the main part of downtown hasn’t had a liquor store since Tessadri’s on Seventh Street closed sometime in the early 1990s.
Altogether, Glenwood Springs now has eight liquor stores spread out fairly evenly between South Glenwood, the central part of town and West Glenwood.
In pitching the store idea to neighbors and the larger community, the Bradys said they emphasized “product knowledge and customer service.”
“A lot of people come in looking for a wine to go with dinner, and they’re completely intimidated by all the selections,” Kevan Brady said. “We want to be able to ask what they’re having for dinner and come up with some suggestions.
“We also want to teach people how to read wine labels from all over the world and know what they mean, or just to know the difference between a Tennessee whiskey and a Kentucky bourbon,” he said.
Brady’s 20 years in the wholesale business in Atlanta included selling and conducting wine training seminars for restaurants before, during and after the 1996 Summer Olympic Games there.
“We want it to be an experience for people, more than anything, and to keep people coming back,” he said of the new venture.
After the first of the year, the Bradys also plan to open a tasting room in the downstairs area of the store and will host regular tastings for wine, beer and spirits.
In keeping with the neighborhood library theme, Kevan Brady said he is also collecting books about wines and spirits to have on hand in the tasting room for people to read.
The new Cooper Wine & Spirits store will have a staff of five, in addition to the owners. Winter hours are planned for 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10-7 on Sundays.
They can also be found on Facebook and Google Plus, and will soon be establishing a website.
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Summer market season begins this week in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, with the return of the Tuesday evening Glenwood Downtown Market and Music Series and the Carbondale Farmers’ Market starting Wednesday.