ROGERS PARK — After opening in August in the former Amilla storefront along the cobbled Glenwood Avenue, "one stop dinner party shop" Rogers Park Provisions recently cleared its last hurdle: securing its liquor license.
Though the owners, couple Erik Archambeault and William Meek (who also own Rogers Park Social), held a soft opening in August, the store at 6928 N. Glenwood Ave. is now busting with unique spirits including Chicago- and internationally-sourced beer, wine, tequila, vodka, bourbon, whiskey, authentic French champagne and more.
"It's relieving," Archambeault said with a chuckle.
"You can discover new things as you walk around," Meek added. "It really did sort of confirm our original thought when we got the liquor, it was a nice accompaniment to everything else."
Between 5-8 p.m. Jan. 25-29, the store will hold a week-long grand opening celebration with nightly tastings of different spirits and other special events, culminating in a party at the end of the week.
The free tastings are part of the shop's New Year resolutions. Beginning in February, Rogers Park Provisions will hold weekly tastings each Wednesday night.
It's exactly the type of experience the couple said they had envisioned when they first thought of the store's concept.
The duo had hoped shoppers would treat the store as a single-stop destination where they could grab high-end items for an affordable price, with many of them coming from vendors within the Rogers Park neighborhood.
With the addition of the new pre-packaged booze offerings, patrons can now pick up some "Good Thunder" cheese, a Rogers Park-themed hoodie, organic deodorant and all the trimmings for the perfect (and classy) Bloody Mary all in one fell swoop.
A "pantry" section of the store sells all sorts of delicious and practical wonders like popcorn seasoning, coffee, glassware and more. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
It's been a dream for Archambeault and Meek to watch their vision come to fruition, they said.
When they opened in August, the pair didn't have permission from the city to sell either liquor or non-perishable food item like their cheese and daily baguettes sourced from nearby Sauce and Bread Kitchen.
Now the store is bursting with items straight out of the homes of many Rogers Park business owners and artists.
Lulu Blossom's line of organic, vegan beauty products are on display across from Stella Lily drink coasters.
Greeting cards and wrapping paper from La Familia Green and items from Quill and Crown and The Donut Shop are all made by Rogers Parkers, and they're joined on shelves by Jersey Mary's BBQ Sauce and Sweet Comb Chicago's beard oil.
"It just tells me, like hey, business venturists, come out and invest in the neighborhood," Archambeault said.
Meek agreed, saying they welcome and encourage more businesses to open in the area that can help "add fabric to the quilt" of the community.
"People in this neighborhood I think have been trained, or deprived, for so long ... that people will come in and, 'Oh gosh I hope you guys survive,'" Meek said. "It's always just like, the fact that you're in here helps us survive. There's already been a demand for all of this stuff, it's just nobody's been willing to take the risk."
"We certainly aren't even worried about competition, we want more and more and more of this because it gets people out in the streets and doing their shopping."
Cheese ranging from "Good Thunder" to Asiago to Delaware Fireball Salame, Rogers Park Provisions stocks its cheese and charcuterie section next to wines and beers they pair well with. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Sweatshirts and T-shirts made by local artist Quill and Crown hang for sale in the shop among other handmade goods like greeting cards, lip balm, fine spirits and party accessories. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
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