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Spec's #00 - Downtown

Your Rating: None
Spec's #00 - DowntownSpec's #00 - Downtown
BA SCORE
4.5/5
World-Class
96 Ratings
Spec's #00 - DowntownSpec's #00 - Downtown
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

2410 Smith St
Houston, Texas, 77006-2316
United States

(888) 526-8787 | map
specsonline.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
96
pDev:
8.89%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 96 |  Reviews: 46
Photo of Sammy
3.14/5  rDev -30.2%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 1.75 | selection: 4

This is a supermarket so no service or vibe expected
Wireless access would be a minimum. Very good selection though. If they bring the brewer in, then all the current offerings tend to be there.

 195 characters

Photo of shoky01
3.45/5  rDev -23.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

The downtown Spec's at Smith st is one of our most traveled to destinations, and its 40 miles from where we live. Being that we mostly go down there for the expansive beer selection. They carry the larger brewers, and are always willing to pick up new ones as well. Have seen at least 2 new one in as many weeks. Though being a busy metropolitan store has its downfalls: slim pickings by the weekend and not great parking. Also being that its the main store in the region if there is a limited release they may be the only one that gets it and being that focused it goes quick. Had to go to Austin just to find more Drinkin' the Sunbelt since every Spec's in the area was completely out or never got it. But overall i like it there.

 732 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.63/5  rDev -19.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.75

Huge selection of beer, off top. Four or more aisles of bottle, packs, a local aisle, tons of coolers and end caps. Most stuff was fresh, but there were some brands that seemed to sit longer, so I became weary if I couldn't find dates for IPAs. I had no problem racking up a $200 bill. **PLEASE NOTE** Plan ahead and have cash; things are priced cheaper if you pay with cash, not credit/debit. So it's definitely a value, especially paying cash.

Service was meh. Plenty of staff and apparent management, just in the beer area, but never saw a staff member talk to anyone but other staff members. Lots of shooting the shit going on. I didn't need help, but when someone does, I bet they'll feel like they're intruding. Sadly.

In the end, hard to top the sheer variety offered.

 778 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
3.72/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Getalegup
3.74/5  rDev -16.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Great selection and price for our region. It is hard get help from the tons of people working there. Maybe the two times I have been is when the beer people were having a bad day. I don't know what the problem was. I will continue to go but not for the service. For service, you need to pay a little more and go to your neighborhood bottle shop.

 345 characters

Photo of halo3one
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of
3.85/5  rDev -14.4%

Stopped in 12/28 while in Houston for the Texas Bowl.

Quality of my purchases (what I have tried) was fine. I didn't see much dust on anything, and the seasonals were appropriate.

Service was quite good. If you stop for more than a minute or two, someone will ask if you need help. The two questions I asked were promptly answered. One of the guys even went and got a "professional" for the section after I told him not to worry about it. The professional knew the answer.

Selection was a little less than what I had hoped for. Maybe it suffers from comparison to Baltimore. Still, you should be able to find something good, especially if you are after Texas beer. Belgians and German beers seem to have good representation. Other crafts include Stone, Rogue, Great Divide, New Belgium.

Pricing seemed reasonable. I bought a six pack each of Rahr's and St. Arnolds, and they were both about $7. I also picked up 7 bombers (Lagunitas & Left Hand), a 12oz. Delirium Tremens, and a Lindemans. The total for that was another $46. Just remember to use cash so you save the 5%.

 1,083 characters

Photo of myspoonistoobig
3.86/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Stopped here on a recent business trip. Now, don't get me wrong, this is an incredibly impressive store. Unparalleled square footage. Tons and tons of beers. I believe the others reviews that say if it is available in TX, it's at Spec's. That said, I left here feeling a little empty. It felt like a Best Buy of booze.

The employees, busy restocking the shelves, were helpful. They pointed me towards the local brews and things they thought I wouldn't be able to get in NY, but one displayed an odd level of arrogance that I found off-putting. When I asked about Jester King, he said "yeah, well, we're the only place in Houston to get it and we sold out 15 cases in three days." Not only was it untrue that they were the only place to get it, but why would I want to know how quickly they sold it? Granted, if they got 15 cases when Central Market only got one, that is a display of their buying power. But is that supposed to make me feel better about buying there? In any event, the other employee was much more engaging, and gave me the head's up that they would be receiving more CoCoNut Porter the next day, which I thought was really nice. He also made some decent recommendations.

All told, thought, I feel like they may be a victim of their own success. There were no hard-to-find beers there while I was there. I suspect it's because if something rare is coming out, everyone and their mother comes here looking for it.

I'd consider going back, just for the spectacle if nothing else, but I'm in no rush.

 1,520 characters

Photo of BdM
3.87/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of cfrobrew
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -11.1%

When visiting my daughter in Clear Lake, I've shopped at her local Spec's and her Kroger for beer. The Spec's in Webster has an extensive beer selection. Hell, even the Kroger has a nice array of beers. The word, though, from my daughter was that I needed to get to Spec's Superstore to really experience an enormous beer selection.
So, after going to the zoo, we found ouselves on Smith Street. While the beer selection was pretty huge, I didn't think they had that many more brands than the local Spec's.
Still, at least to this New Englander's eyes, they had a lot, and I had fun browsing around. The staff was knowledgeable and helpful, and the prices were quite reasonable.
I think whenever I'm in downtown Houston, I'll hit this place up.

 744 characters

Photo of dshansen1184
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Wayne17
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of aforbes10
4/5  rDev -11.1%

We stopped at specs in Houston because we heard it was the biggest beer place in texas and was not to be passed up. i also heard from someone that they had massive amounts of lagunitus and dogfish head so i was really excited....and i have to say i was a little underwhelmed. they did have a good selection but our local place in south bend is better. maybe i shouldn't have expected that much from texan beer. oh well. i did grab some massive bottles of el salvadorian beer just to try them and i found a bottle of avery's samael's oak aged ale that didnt have a label and a clerk made a label for me so i could buy it. that was nice of him. but yeah, i guess this place is pretty darn good if you're from anywhere in texas, louisiana, mississippi, etc. but if you're from the coasts or upper midwest...you've seen better.

 823 characters

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%

This is one of the largest liquor stores I have ever been in. I was blown away by the sheer size of it from the outside, and the layout inside is impressive as well, and also very well organized. The beer selection is very well-laid out, with several shelves of bombers, more shelves of 6-packs, and a long line of coolers. Of course all of the macros are represented, but beyond that, they's an impressive line of micros from around the country, Texas locals, Belgians, and a variety of other imports. A large cooler of singles is also available if that's what you're looking for. This store and selection was just highly impressive, especially compared to what else I saw in Texas. I would definitely recommend this as one of the beer stops if you're in Houston.

 764 characters

Photo of acrawf6
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%

I have some mixed thoughts about spec's, or maybe Houston. They certainly did have a nice selection of beers, but i just thought they would have more, particularly in the american micro genre. It's not a bad or low selection, i guess i was just expecting more (wishfull thinking from where i'm from).

The quality was good, seemed they took carefull attention to the beer isles. They also have pretty much all the beers they have in coolers, which is nice.

Service was pretty good. one guy stuck around the beer area asking if anyone needed help.

But i guess overall the selection what pretty nice. Lots of things i usually cant get. (i just thought houston would have more). I thought the belgian section was slacking, nothing out of the ordinary really. English beers were pretty generous. As far as american beers, they sold lots of texas beers, had a large amount of Avery Brewery beers, as well as Great Divide. But it just seemed their selection was focused on texas and Colorado. Nice to see abita there; very nice to see lots of people buying them.

Value is average.

Overall it is a great place to check out. Tons of wine, tons of liquor. Nice little grocery store in it as well. Check it out.

 1,206 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%

I could not help but be impressed by the size of the location. Eileen, my CS host, said that the entry was in the corner, under the dome. Under a dome!?! WTF? Once again, we have nothing like this in Pennsylvania. The logo was of a bespectacled jackrabbit - specs, get it? For their super quick service. this was not just beer and wine, but high-end cheeses, a full-service delicatessen, liquors of every stripe, glassware, coffee, cigars, cigarettes. 21 checkout lines. Two prices - one for cash, one for everything else. My only complaint was that you could not break 6-packs and the single selection was limited.

 615 characters

Photo of beaulabauve
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of marieli
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Many Spec's exist around the Houston area and some are better than others in terms of what they stock, but this is the big downtown store. If you're looking for mainstream or regular macro offerings, you can typically find it here in multiple packaging. The shortfall is specialty beers: when they get them there's usually a line that started a day ago! For these, you're better off getting lucky at an outlier or getting friendly with your local well-stocked grocery store. There's usually at least one larger burb Spec's near you in Houston where you can find a good selection of regular offerings, or you can triangulate through two or three nearby. Therefore, trips to the downtown store are not necessary on a regular basis unless it happens to be one of your nearby Spec's. But everyone who likes and buys beer should check it out at least once.

 851 characters

Photo of armock
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%

This is on of the biggest liquor stores that I've ever been to. Compared to the rest of the stores selection the beer section was smaller than expected. I'm not saying that they don't have a lot of choices but the beer area was kinda small. With the space that is for beer its very well stocked and kinda organized. Micros are all togeather and the others by country. They have a pretty good selection of bombers too. I hade to limit myself to just a hand basket of beer because it would have been easy to buy beer for a good long time there.

 542 characters

Photo of GregJ
4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Great selection, nice layout, lot of bombers and cooler space.

62 characters

Photo of champ103
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I am always impressed with Spec's Warehouse. A huge place, and a great selection. Everything that is at the regular Spec's stores around Houston plus much more! Well, pretty much everything that is distributed to Houston. The Gentleman is is a regular on the sight, and is the very informative beer manager of the store. He is always helpful, and knowledgeable. Though the rest of the people working here can be a bit standoffish. If I was just rating Joey, the service score would be much higher.

Everything that comes to Houston can be found here. Jester King, Smokestacks, they get more cases of Saint Arnold DR's than any other place in the state. Find the beer manager, and he will gladly talk your ear off. As well as find you what you are looking for.

 759 characters

Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Bayou_beer_guy
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Okay. This place has the best and largest beer selection in Houston. If there is a limited release in Houston it will be found here. Here is the bone I have to pick with this place:
Spec's only do their special releases at their downtown location and only on weekdays at 10:00 am.
Only a select few can get to this location during a weekday morning for these releases.
I realize that this is a a personal thing, but really this cuts out a whole bunch of people that would like to get their hands on some limited stuff. I talked to the managers of the beer sections at other Specs and they have told me that the beer managers at this location will not make those limited releases available to them.
But as I said, great beer selection.

 738 characters

Photo of Monkeypuker
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

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Spec's #00 - Downtown in Houston, TX
Place rating: 4.5 out of 5 with 96 ratings
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