Shit I Don’t Get: Drinking Beer at Whole Foods

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I Dunno

There is a new phenomenon that has been troubling me since the jumbo Whole Foods on Park opened up last year, and that is that people go there and drink beer and wine at the beer and wine bar inside the Whole Foods.  A similar bar was later installed in the cheese section of my beloved neighborhood Lakewood Whole Foods.

Now, I fully admit that maybe I’m not “the hippest dude on the ranch”.  And that maybe I’m not the “coolest cat at the cat college”.  And maybe sometimes I can’t “control my bowels and often crap my pants.”  Now that last one was hurtful and I am now wondering why you brought that up and if we could even still be friends.  Maybe we should spend some time apart until I can figure out where this thing is going.

But one place I won’t be figuring out the future of our relationship is the Beer and Wine Bar at Whole Foods.

I’ve found myself in the Lakewood Whole Foods on a Friday evening a time or two the last few months.  And each and every time I am dumbfounded at the number of people drinking at the beer/wine bar in the middle of the store.  It’s Friday night, people, go to a real bar

I first became acquainted with the Whole Foods beer/wine bar while I was working in Irvine, CA for a couple of weeks in late 2009.  Twelve hour days were the norm during that trip and I would often swing by the Whole Foods in Tustin for dinner.  It was the first time I had seen a bar in a grocery store.  But even in Tustin, where there’s nothing to do but admire the gigantic concrete blimp hangers,  there would only be a couple of people drinking.

But the Lakewood Whole Foods is always hopping. The thing that baffles me is that there are beers on tap that you can get anywhere else.  The beers offered are usually not as good or diverse as the beers offered just a mile or two away at The Bottle Shop or The Goodfriend.  Is it because they are cheaper??  I know the beers at Whole Foods will run around $4 while the same beer might be $6.  But here’s the thing.  I would gladly pay $2 extra on a beer in order to not be exposed to harsh grocery store lighting and to not be wedged in between the petchuli based fragrances and the stinky cheeses.

So someone is going to have to clue me in.  What’s the allure?  What’s the draw?  Why would anyone treat a grocery store as a neighborhood bar in neighborhood that has several neighborhood bars?

Please discuss and get back to me.


  1. I also don't get it and have not found anyone who does. I am wondering how long that will be there, because a friend of mine asked an employee about this at the Gaston store and they were told they've actually had problems with belligerent drunks. Like, Whole Foods had to call the cops and have them removed from the store, since, as you know, since grocery stores don't hire bouncers.

  2. Amazingly this came up in a separate conversation today. My friend actually asked an employee at Whole Foods why it was so crowded all the time and it turns out, it's occasionally crowded with drunks too. As in, Whole Foods has had to call the police to remove belligerent drunks, because, as you know, grocery stores do not have bouncers.Makes me wonder how long that will be an available service.

  3. I loved this! Even in Germany we don't have bars in our grocery stores (though there is a Moët bar in the super-expensive department store).Is it so cashiers can have a cold one before returning to the grind?And why did Magpie post two versions on the same comment?

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