A liquor store gets bar-curious

"The customer is always right" typically has its limits -- maybe you go to extremes to satisfy a guy who claims he got lousy service, but you certainly don't agree when he calls your wife lousy in bed. Actually changing their entire business due to customer insistence, The Alcove.

The Alcove's a sleek wine & beer cafe occupying the former State Street Spirits, whose owners, after six years of patrons telling them they wished they could hang & drink in their liquor store, decided to completely overhaul the space with a stunning stainless steel bar and rich red & black furniture for seating/slouching/losing change to. Mid-priced owner/patron-preferred wine's the focus, with 25 labels to start (with plans to expand fourfold by spring), all available by the glass & bottle; whites range from $25 Rockland Duck Duck Goose Chard to $45 St. Cosme Cotes du Rhone Blanc, while reds are dominated by Cali boutique vineyards and Argentine Malbecs, priced from the low $30s (Veleta Tempranillo, 14 Hands Cab) to ~$50 options like the 2006 "Merkin Chupacabra", from the vineyard owned by Maynard James Keenan (only a Tool names wine after a mythical bloodsucker with mythical pubes). For those who love hops, 25 bottled beers'll rotate by season, with standbys including Shiner/Dos XX/Sam Adams, plus specialties brews such as Big Sky IPA, Pete's Wicked Ale, and Hard Core Apple Cider, which started out as "Serious Actress" Apple Cider, then became "I'll Show Them If It Enhances My Character" Apple Cider, then...well, you know the rest.

Starting next month, the Alcove'll host movie series and TV premiere parties, and come spring'll bring beer taps and a 30-seat outdoor patio. For those not wanting to hang, they do still offer takeout, allowing you to imbibe all night on the couch, then give lousy service to yourself.