What if your favorite bar held onto bottle of some of the best stuff out there just for you to drink whenever you walked through the door? It may sound like a dream, but it’s going on at bars across the country.
You might have heard of wine lockers. Prevalent at country clubs and fancy restaurants, the lockers are usually adorned with the owners name and hold a treasure trove of high end wines to be imbibed at a future date. What you might not know is that certain bars also have whiskey lockers that are rented by patrons. For a fee (and sometimes without one), guests can rent a storage cabinet in which to store their own choice spirits and wine for future consumption.
At one such bar, Steak & Whiskey in Hermosa Beach, California, a year rental is $500. If customers purchase $500 worth of liquor and wines, they receive 40% off of the retail price.
“Not only is it super convenient and cool, but [owners] also get to point up at their ‘own’ locker when they dine at the restaurant with their own personalized selection of choices,” says Scott Young, Director of Operations for Blackhouse Hospitality Group. Locker owners can also offer friends dining at the restaurant the opportunity to consume liquor and wine from their locker when they’re not there.
?Beyond the cache of having your own secret stash, there are a few other perks to the experience as well.
“Purchasing any of the very special and rare whiskies, cognacs etc. at 40% off our retail pricing is a great deal,” says Young. Locker holders also receive preferential treatment when they reach out to the bar for reservations, concerns, etc.
Many bars that offer whiskey lockers offer similar deals when purchasing bottles for customers’ lockers.
In September 2012, The Flatiron Room in New York began offering whiskey lockers to its guests. Unlike at Steak & Whiskey, you don’t need to pay a fee to use the lockers, you just have to pony up for a full bottle from its expansive collection. If you don’t finish the bottle off that night, a whiskey steward will take your bottle from you, brand it with your name and put it into a locker for you to consume at a later date.
It’s a similar setup at the Franklin Room in Chicago. When customers purchase a bottle from the restaurant’s reserve list they’re given a keychain with a member number. When they are done with the bottle for the night, it’s labeled and placed behind the locked glass walls that surround the restaurant. Later on, guests can let the bar know they’re on their way via a special email address and phone number. When they arrive and settle in, they’ll get their bottle, ice cubes, water, and personalized whiskey glasses. There is no fee other than the price of the bottle itself.
If your favorite bar doesn’t offer locker service yet, not to worry, you can still reserve a spot at the greatest bar of all: your kitchen cabinet. The guest list is super exclusive, and the bartender is always serving your favorite.