Opened last Saturday, Old Town Pasadena's Everson Royce is not quite a sequel to Silverlake Wine. Think character spinoff. Two out of three Silverlake Wine owners are involved; approximately 25% of the same small-production wine brands are stocked. Potential customers are greeted immediately at the door. Everything else is different, from the look to the wine-tasting schedule and the amount of spirits for sale. Once the inventory is complete, says owner Randy Clement, there will be eight times the amount of hard stuff on hand.
Located in a historic building between the Armory Center for the Arts and a multilevel parking garage, the Raymond Avenue store is more citified than the original Silver Lake location. Exposed air-conditioning ducts (painted navy blue), brick walls and steel shelving give the store a loftlike feel. Some details are eye-catching: Designer Ana Henton of MASS Architecture repurposed previous tenant Heritage Wine Shop's wine racks as decorative finishes to the bar and checkout desk.
What else is on tap at the brand-new wine, beer and spirits outlet?
For one, there's draft wine. Behind the counter at the 21-and-over-only tasting section of the retail space is an eight-tap dispenser. Similar in principle to wine-on-tap systems in place at Pasadena's Tender Greens as well as Mohawk Bend and Lukshon, Everson Royce's taps will dispense four California reds (cooled to 60 degrees) and four California whites (cooled to 43 degrees) by the glass or carafe. On tap now: Cultivar's Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Giornata's il Campo White (a blend of Central Coast white varietals).
On day three, Clement pointed out the store's wine displays, classified by geographic location. (The store is named for his and co-owner April Langford's almost 2-year-old twin boys; Joe Capella is the third partner). Selections from Italy, “war-torn Europe” (Slovenia, Croatia, Georgia), a center section devoted to California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay plus dozens of wines from France, Spain, the Southern Hemisphere and more add up to 500 labels.
“We've been looking for a place to open a new store for years now,” Clement says. The Old Town spot was an opportunity he and his partners could not pass up and it will be “owner-operated all the way,” he says. “We're not going to build out and then dial it in. It's exciting for us; it's like writing a new wine list for a restaurant. There is some duplication [with Silverlake Wine], but from the creative end, the excitement of having tons of new shit is super cool,” he says.
And Clement is particularly excited to meet every single person in Pasadena — no kidding. His street marketing plan includes introducing himself to fellow local store owners, presenting a bottle of wine and welcoming them to Everson Royce. The store's weekly wine events also have a devoted following. Everson Royce will have public tastings, too — now scheduled for Tuesday and Friday nights and Saturday afternoons — which will launch soon. (Follow on Facebook or Twitter @evrowine for updates). Whether the Heirloom L.A. truck can park outside will come down to city approval.
Meanwhile, Silverlake Wine continues its commitment to local events: The store is co-sponsoring the second annual Taste of the Eastside benefit at Barnsdall Art Park this weekend and will be back for Friday night wine tastings on the west lawn of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House come summer. And for those who plan ahead, the bar at Everson Royce will be open New Year's Day after the Rose Parade.
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