Liquor store goes upscale

Should a town where residents take fierce pride in maintaining a suburban character unique to Southern California settle for just any old mass-marketed alcoholic beverage?

The folks at Remedy Liquor, La Cañada Flintridge’s newest retail store, think not.

A specialty wine, beer and spirits shop that opened earlier this month in the former 823 Foothill Blvd. location of Flintridge Beverage Store, Remedy Liquor is betting La Cañada’s beverage connoisseurs are ready to try something new and different.

“We don’t let anyone walk in here without at least seeing how they’re doing, what they’re looking for and recommending something they’ll like,” explained manager Dan Krausz, who taps more than a decade of experience in pairing unfamiliar bottles with discerning palates.

Say you come in for a bottle of merlot. If you like the Coppola product, then Krausz, also the store’s principal buyer, may recommend trying the lesser known and slightly bolder Magnus merlot of Napa Valley.

Cabernet? Krausz suggests the artisan, small-batch 16x20.

And while there’s no trouble with enjoying a bottle of Jack Daniel's, bourbon enthusiasts can up the ante with a bottle of much scarcer Pappy Van Winkle, aged 12, 15, 18, 20 or 23 years.

“We definitely carry the popular brands, but we cater to the wine and spirits connoisseur. Not everyone carries the brands that are harder to get because you have to agree to buy a lot of other products [through distributors],” said Krausz, who brags that volume purchases enable Remedy Liquor’s prices to resemble those you might expect from a big box store.

Cognacs, another specialty, range from rare $2,000 varieties to $20 gems, for example.

But unlike a big box store, Remedy Liquor is locally owned.

La Cañada residents Melina and Mike Issakhanian, who have already made donations through the store to local school district and chamber fundraisers, also operate a Glenoaks Avenue location in Glendale that features a wine bar.

While there’s no popping of corks at the Foothill location, Krausz said the store plans to partner with local restaurants to offer special wine-and-spirit tasting dinners.

The La Cañada store’s official grand opening and ribbon cutting takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on June 4, with free barbecue, special promotions and a professional knife sharpener on site to offer the services of his increasingly lost art.

“We have an old-school philosophy of being customer-service oriented,” said Krausz, who also offers custom gift baskets and party planning advice for crowds of all sizes and tastes.

But no liquor store would be complete without beer.

Alongside the Heinekens and Budweisers, those with more adventurous tastes will find an array of craft brew ambassadors, including a pair of complex Allagash ales from Maine and California’s own Green Flash Brewery’s hop-heavy West Coast India pale ale.

Remedy Liquor is at 823 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada Flintridge. Call (818) 790-0078. Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

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