In the coming weeks, the NSLC's Port of Wines on Doyle Street will close, and it will be replaced by "The Port".
The new store is just a couple blocks away on the corner of Clyde and Birmingham, in the new building (The Marry Ann) beside the library. The folks at NSLC were kind enough to let me come in and have a peak.
Immediately as you approach the store, you can tell it is a much more modern and lively space, and once you get in you can see how bright and open in comparison it is compared to the old store. As I put it, the old store felt designed for a tweed jacket and pipe kind of crowd. This store is definitely for the modern drinker.
As you look around the store, you can see all kinds of improvements, and they were saying the inventory list has new bottles of wines that have never been available in an NSLC before. This store will be the limited edition and small quantities kind of outlet. Mixed with your $15 bottles.
The product is clearly displayed, and the shelving is much better lit.
This store is definitely for the wine lover.
The sampling system I predict will be a big hit, you will be able to get a wine card that you load up at the cash, and then you can insert it in the machine and have a sample for $x depending on the bottle of wine. There will be 32 bottles available. There will even be an opportunity to sample everyday bottles to high-end bottles.There won't be a bottle filling station like at Bayers Lake though.
I think the sampling will be fun to do, after a dinner or a movie out.
There will be an emphasis on Nova Scotia products, (I like the bird lights a lot) wine, beer and spirits.
The beer section will highlight smaller runs and NS beer. If you want a regular Keith's, Blue, Canadian, etc., you can find those a few blocks west at the Clyde St NSLC.
They said this will give microbreweries space on the shelf, and if they want to do a limited run of 48 cans of something, there will be the opportunity to be sold there. The thing about The Port is this store is designed to be more flexible with a changing product line.
Other features of the store, include a spirits area, where you can find NS made, limited editions and unique liquor (I do love rare scotch). There is also and education and tasting room that they plan to use for events, samplings, seminars, and workshops.
And of course, there is also the "Rare Finds" room that is climate controlled but the bottles in there are not necessarily super expensive.
The opening date is not set in stone, but they are going to be open in April, as soon as the store and streetscape are ready (currently behind a construction fence). Another advantage this store will have is underground (pay) parking, where parking at the old store was always a trick.
I look forward to seeing it again when it's up and running.