With every day feeling like a Friday, liquor sales are unsurprisingly up during the lockdown. Fortunately, many LA restaurants have shrewdly pivoted to selling bottles of liquor to help generate revenue, in addition to hawking groceries, produce boxes, and cocktails to-go.
But why buy whiskey from a restaurant instead of a grocery or liquor store? Buying from a restaurant supports the establishment’s bottom line. As added bonus, it’s an opportunity to snag the good stuff from a curated inventory and prices are usually comparable to what’s available through retail. And when it comes to convenience, folks can now pick up a bottle of booze to go with takeout dinner. Here now is a list of local restaurants selling bottles of liquor:
800 Degrees Neopolitan Pizzeria: Need 50 milliliters of mezcal or a liter of vodka? This pizzeria has both, as well as Writer’s Tears Irish whisky. Prices are $20 or so more than those found in liquor stores.
Bacari PDR: Bacari PDR is facilitating one-stop shopping by selling cleaning supplies, produce, and candy, in addition to bourbon, tequila, and gluten-free Bohemia vodka (750 milliliters) for $19.
Bar Restaurant: While loading up on market boxes, dairy and pantry items, and prepared meals, throw in a liter bottle of Aperol ($40) for spritzes all day or week long. The inventory will appeal to discerning drinkers, featuring brands not readily found at other restaurant liquor stores, like High West double rye and Smith & Cross rum. Prices are at a premium compared to regular retail.
Broken Spanish: Chef Ray Garcia’s restaurant is the place for special agave spirits, such as Pizcadores Sotol for $42 (about $40 retail), a limited edition Fortaleza Reposado winter blend 2019 for $140, or mezcal in a flask-sized bottle.
Cassell’s Hamburgers: Don’t need a whole bottle? This Koreatown burger joint is selling 375 milliliter bottles of basics for $15 to $20, as well as shots for $5.
Craig’s: Craig’s in West Hollywood has Tito’s vodka for a whopping $75 and three different types of Casamigos tequila for $90.
Employees Only: Before cocktails to-go were a thing, Employees Only offered cocktail kits, but now it’s also selling a small selection of 750 milliliter bottles. The inventory is comprised of the usual suspects but prices vary from Wheatley vodka, a steal at $15 ($20 at Total Wine), to Suntory Toki for $37.99 ($29.99 at Total Wine).
Far Bar LA: Pre-COVID days, Far Bar was the place to imbibe whiskey in Little Tokyo. Unfortunately, the bar isn’t selling its Kavalan or Yamazaki, but one can get a liter of Maker’s Mark for $30.
Here & Now: Arts District bar and restaurant Here & Now is now selling everything from snacks and mezcal to baking flour and single-barrel rye whiskey, with delivery available as well.
LA Bodega on Wheels: This roving repurposed food truck, which is now partnering with the Rose Venice, is delivering Future gin for $32 (750 milliliters) and Vervet canned cocktails for $6 each or $22 for a four-pack to those on the Westside who don’t want to venture out.
Madre: Take your pick of tequila ($22) or mezcal ($44) — there’s just a bottle each. Or spring for a mezcal flight ($60) and join a virtual tasting this Saturday.
Maestro Restaurant Pasadena: The selection includes just a couple of mezcals.
Manuela DTLA: This Arts District eatery has several tequilas available and a few other spirits. Prices start at $25.
Massilia Santa Monica/Zinque: Liter and 750 milliliter bottles of vodka, gin, tequila, and rum, as well as a couple of scotches, including Glenlivet Nadurra 12 year (750 milliliters), for $90 ($80 everywhere else).
Mezcalero: The downtown mezcal and tequila restaurant is only offering one bottle of either agave spirit. But for those who don’t want a full bottle, it also sells eight ounces. A tasting flight can be ordered for $25, which includes three one-ounce tastes, orange slices, and a side of sal de gusano.
Mister O’s: Mister O’s in Studio City seems to be taking its new role as a bottle shop seriously by flexing an inventory of over 80 bottles. And the restaurant is currently running a deal where buying three bottles gets you one free bottle of equal or lesser value.
Nice Guy/Delilah/Petite Taqueria: Just four bottle service basics are available and they’re priced at retail.
Osteria La Buca: For those easily overwhelmed by options, Osteria La Buca keeps things simple with one 375 milliliter bottle per spirit. A bottle of Sipsmith gin goes for $19.66 and Basil Hayden’s bourbon is $25.84.
Otoño Mercat: The Spanish restaurant turned Spanish specialty market has a selection of agave spirits, whiskey, amari, and naturally, plenty of gin. Bottles range from $30 to $100.
Post & Beam: The liquor bottles for sale outnumber the food dishes at this Baldwin Hills eatery. Only the one-liter size is available for the basics with prices on the high-end compared to liquor stores.
Redbird: The downtown restaurant has a smattering of one-liters of vodka and gin available for pickup on Tock. A liter of Grey Goose vodka goes for $50 ($52.99 at BevMo).
Republique: Chef Walter Manzke’s Mid-City restaurant just started selling its liquor inventory and the hard stuff outsold the wine on the first day. Liquor bottles for sale include a selection of dark spirits like Rittenhouse Rye (750 milliliters) for $24 (regularly sells for $22 to $29 at liquor stores), light spirits such as Legendario Domingo Espandin (750 milliliters) for $36 ($39.99 at K&L Wines), and aperitifs and digestifs including a liter Campari for $43 ($39.99 at Beverly Hills Liquor and Wine). The restaurant will also be selling allocated bottles from its single barrel program, such as its Old Forester Bourbon and El Tesoro Single Barrel Reposado for $50 each.
Roberta’s: The Culver City pizzeria has just a few bottles of one-liters ranging in price from $25 to $60.
Rossoblu: In addition to its groceries and prepared food, Rossoblu has a list of bottles. But it’ll only put out about four to six at a time for purchase, changing them out regularly. Select bottles are priced competitively. Newbie home bartenders can also purchase a kit starting at $89 that includes full bottles, mixing glass, bar tools, cold draft ice, garnish, and a Zoom online class. Some of the proceeds will go to the bartender.
Sage Vegan Bistro: The liquor selection may be small with one bottle per spirit, but it’s organic and LA-centric. The restaurant enforces a three bottle limit.
Stella Barra: For those who want some guidance on what to do with a whole bottle of liquor, Stella Barra has created a few kits where a 750 milliliter or liter bottle is bundled with mixers and citrus.
The Surly Goat: Every Friday, in addition to offering rare craft beer bottles and growlers of draft beer, the Surly Goat location on Santa Monica Boulevard has bottles of liquor, which range from $10 to $40, depending on the bottle. The selection includes a lot of basics normally found behind the well. For those who feel like gambling, there’s an $8 blind liquor grab bag.
Tesse: While stocking up on toilet paper, wild rice, and filet mignon at Tesse, shoppers can also splurge on a 750 milliliters of Fortaleza anejo tequila for $98 ($99.99 at Wally’s) or simply restock sweet vermouth, vodka, gin, and whiskey. It’s all available to order for delivery via Postmates.
Zebulon: The one-liter bottle selection here includes the usuals ($30 to $79, a premium compared to retail), plus a few rarities, such as a sotol and an aged cachaca, which isn’t normally found at the grocery store.