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On Good Spirits and Total Wine & More

We can shout, we can scream, but the liquor law passed, and expensive liquor is here to stay. Hey, at least (or "at least" possibly?) we have liquor mega stores now.

We don't really imbibe that much of the hard stuff here at Team SpoCOOL, but as these stores advertise mega beer selections too, we decided to give them a look.

Good Spirits

Honestly, we don't really get this store. At all. And trust me, there is plenty not to get here.

The place looks like a semi-abandoned gas station, with old coolers and shabby interiors. Prices are all over the map. Maybe we just didn't understand their very special price tags, but seeing $40 Campari bottles, Cognacs about twice the price of what most grocery stores mark them at... Nothing really added up.

The beer, meanwhile, was actually fairly priced, but it doesn't take too much to say you have 800 different types of the stuff when the majority of it is the grocery store grade Redhooks of the world.

So... No... There's a lot not to get here. But feel free to check them out at 1804 W Francis yourself.

Total Wine & More

It's hard to say what we expected here, though I was vaguely afraid it'd be another Good Spirits experience.

Total Wine, thankfully, is different. It's about as corporate as it can be -- the old Borders location on Newport Highway is fitting -- but not necessarily in a bad way. The beer selection is huge, likely among the largest I've seen in Spokane. Quality wise it is also very good, and nicely priced too. (You can, or at least could, pick up a bottle of The Dissident for a couple of bucks less than anywhere else in town.)

The liquor prices seem to be more in line with what one would expect, and the selection here too is good.

I don't think (I say, hopefully) Good Spirits or Total Wine will have too much of a negative impact on local beer shops like Bottles, JB's, or whatever. Those places still have a better specialized selection, and beer people seem to be more drawn to smaller spots like that anyway. (Frankly, the only thing I could see Good Spirits challenge is your local Conoco.)

Total Wine seems like a good addition to existing spots, in a giant, corporate, friendly-ish Big Brother kind of way. I'm not sure I'll frequent it personally, but it'd be hard to blame anyone who did.

And love it or hate it, Total Wine is here to stay if the grand opening was anything to go by. Spokane loves its mega stores, and at least Total Wine isn't total dross.