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Saturday
Jun162012

brick 'n mortar, part ii

It's Saturday afternoon and The Wise Old Dog is approaching its first full month since we reopened our doors.  This has been extraordinary.  Are we done?  Never!  But, our store has been gut-renovated, all new inventory fills our shelves, and, most importantly, our customers have returned to discover that we worked through the night for our shutdown week to build a brand new store they could all be proud of...success!

What is it like inside?  Well, you'll have to come visit!  What follows here are some pictures of the renovation...thank you to our crew who each and all went the extra mile, stayed the extra hour, and devoted the extra bit of care and attention to the details that now make the space uniquely special.

"BEFORE": This cooler MUST go!

The other side of the store "BEFORE"

Shelves clear!

Cooler GONE!

In comes the new custom 5-door cooler.

The regrigeration team works through the night.

Progress!

Sign going up!

AND NOW:

AFTER: Fresh flowers on the table of summer white wines.

Treats on the front counter!

Wine!

For summer sipping.

It's always 5 o'clock at The Wise Old Dog.

Monday
Feb272012

brick 'n mortar, part i

We've been working on a secret!  Without a kitchen, I've been cranky not cooking a meal in two full months but I have been working around the clock on something very special…

We have our liquor permit, we have a space made of brick and mortar, we have inventory, we have coolers and a parking lot, a credit card swiping machine, a cash register with a scanner that makes that boo-di-lip noise and...and...  and, of course, we still have LOADS of work to do...but now, The Wise Old Dog dream really starts to take shape.

So, where are we?  In a nutshell: West Hartford, Connecticut!

We've bought South Quaker Wine & Spirits, a small local "package store," and we're open for business at 610 South Quaker Lane.  I formed this company back in August and since then, The Wise Old Dog brand has started to stand for something... an approach, an attitude...stuff that tastes good. 

Here's what we are going to do: With a permit from the State of Connecticut, we are selling beer, wine, liquor, tobacco (and lottery tickets too!) at our retail shop here in West Hartford.  What is the space like?  Well, it's kinda plain...but not for long.

We all have routines...we go to the same diner every Saturday, the same coffee shop, the same dive bar, the same liquor store...just think, what would happen if that familiar favorite diner suddenly closed down without warning...not good!  So, we're going to take it slow... 

I'm going to work at our new little shop every day that we're open; I'm going to say hello to new people and tell them how excited we are about our plans.  We'll drink things, toast to small business, listen to music, and get to know one another.  Then, with plenty of warning, we're going to close up shop for about a week.  Behind paper-covered windows, an army of skilled craftsman (and slightly less-skilled guys like me) will set to secret work on the renovation…

And, in the meantime?  Well, come on down!  I’m getting my retail sea legs over the next couple of weeks and then, our major wine sale starts (stay tuned!)...I'll go through every bottle of wine in the place and mark just about all of them down 10%-30%...awesome, huh?!  In fact, you'll be pressed to find a wine on the floor over $19.99.  Starting today, we are all stocked up on wine, beer, and liquor...so, if you're thirsty, I'm sure we can help you out.  Feel like trying your luck at the jackpot?  We've got a full inventory of lotto tickets.  Need a pack of smokes?  Got 'em.

Remember, this is your chance to see the before...and, if you like, pull me aside and let me know what sort of things you'd like to see on the shelves when we reopen as The Wise Old Dog.