West Lakeview Liquors

BA SCORE
100
world-class

189 Ratings
West Lakeview LiquorsWest Lakeview Liquors
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

2156 W Addison St
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-6136
United States

(773) 525-1916 | map
wlvliquors.com

Notes:
Hours:
Mon. - Thurs. 10am - 10pm
Fri. & Sat. 10am - 11pm
Sun. 11am - 10pm

Parking: Y (in the rear of the store)
Mail Order: Y

Added by mkopera24

PLACE STATS
Score:
100
Ratings:
189
Reviews:
108
Avg:
4.58
pDev:
4.8%
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of Duffman929
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Was in the loop and heading home and decided to stop here to see what the deal was. The place is small, but they have some really great beers here. They people in the store knew what they were talking about, were able to recommend some beer, as well as were willing to take my name in case certain beers I am looking for come in.

I ended up getting a bottle of '10 and '11 North Coast Old Stock Ale and a bottle of Old Rasputin XII to age in my cellar. The prices were reasonable and I will stop back in again.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.16/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Finally got to stop into this place on our way over to DLD this year. Honestly not much to look at from the outside, but in its compact size, there was a fantastic selection of local and imported stuff. Most impressive were the imports since alot of what I saw I have not seen anywhere else in the area. My only complaint is paying Chicago area prices & tax, but I can highly suggest the place since you will find something that you cant anywhere else, just be prepared for the costs.

Overall, a great beer store though. Would visit more often if it were closer

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Photo of beernightscout
4.88/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Quick edit: Compared to Lush down the street on Roscoe, West Lakeview is a total steal, prices here are almost half what they are at Lush for the exact same thing...why bother? kristina, us beer geeks are so thankful for you.

A local legend, and regional destination. Small, tight storefront, imagine what it could be if they had more room....Great wine and spirits to choose from, fancy food next door at their new deli...but it's all about the beer.

You will find beer here you will not find anywhere else. A huge selection of De Dolle, Mikkeller, Nogne, Brewdog, and great ones such as Aventinus Eisbock, Ølfabrikken Porter, and a collection of $25-30 imports I will probably never be able to afford. Wow. Wish I had an iphone so I can stand there, go online and see what all these rare things are rated. Mind-blowing is the best way to describe the import selection. Hands down this is the best import shop in the city.

But they do get the new releases from the important U.S. brewers too, and they get all the rare stuff. Ask kristina, the owner, how to be best kept aware of the rare stuff that comes in, or email her from their website. (I got Founders Nemesis 2010, etc.) She is very helpful. The other staff, who I see much more often, are also helpful and knowledgable.

Their prices are perfectly mid-range; no one can compete with Binny's, Foremost, Cardinal, etc., but you can go very close by to other great beer shops and pay more for the same stuff. I like to support the small family businesses when possible.

I'm a fan.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Huge Edit!

I went here for Zwanze day yesterday and was blown out of the water. The atmosphere was phenomenal, service exceptional, and selection amazing. Kristina brought up some insane beer from downstairs, and I was able to purchase my fair share of fun stuff. One of the most memorable beer experiences of my life. You could feel the passion for craft beer at this establishment.

---
Met up with a fellow BA here to do an IP trade (got 2011 DL and KBS).

As stated in my other review, the day was a nasty thunderstorming Midwest experience. Despite this, the store was actually quite active. It is located on the corner of a nice residential area and by golly, I’d love to live there. The quality was top notch. I had heard this was the “place to get Cantillon”, however, as I’ve learned in the past week...no one freaking has this anymore (and if someone reads this and knows of a place that does, let me know! I’m just back from CA after three years and want my Cantillon fix). The service was good...bs’d with the two guys working. They knew a decent amount about craft beer so that’s always a plus. The selection was also pretty good – limited, but good. 3F, lots of JP (actually I think every JP that is not limited was there), lots of imports, etc. Currently drinking one of the beers I picked up there. The price was overall expected for the area. I see this has a really high rating, but to be perfectly honest, nothing here was “that” special or blew me away. I have hit up damn near 10 beer places since I’ve been home in the past week and I have seen more selection other places. Yes they have a great import section, but again, nothing that is crazy rare. As stated, I believe their name to fame was having tons of Cantillon, but they had zero when I was there. I may re-rate this in the future when/if they get stuff in, but as rarity goes, it was nothing to write home about.

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Photo of JoshVandy
4.66/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Stopped by here on May 21, 2011 during my trip to Chicago.

A fantastic little shop that literally had most of the stuff I was looking for. The atmosphere is great, with the store looking very clean and well planned out. The quality of the products was second to none, including offerings from Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, and Firestone Walker, to name a few. The service was decent, but we arrived shortly after the opened, and I knew my way around the products. Everything was decently priced, as I managed to find the last bottle of Abacus on the shelf for $14.99. A fantastic store and a must-stop if you're in the area.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

West Lakeview Liqours is a must-stop if you are in Chicago. Everything in stock is of the highest quality, from beer and booze to cheese and accoutrements. The import selection is great, and the whisky is phenomenal. Lambics and are well-represented, as are obscure Euro brands. The prices are all reasonable, and really good if you factor WLVs economy of scale. The staff is as knowledgeable as it gets and exceptionally helpful. About as good as it gets; WLV has all the good stuff and none of the crap.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stopped in to West Lakeview Liquors for the first time with my buddy Win from Flossmoor, IL. I had met the owner, Kristina Bozic, and her assistant, Bryna in Belgium at the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival. It was good to reconnect with both of them and of course to survey the store's extensive craft beer selection. This is definitely a place to check out for rare imports (like rare specimens from 3 Fonteinen etc.) and good local beers too. The store is small, and also sells wine and spirits, but Kristina manages to pack the small space with an informed selection of craft beers (you can check out their stock online). The essential thing to know is that Kristina and the staff are dedicated craft brew enthusiasts who keep up with the scene and really know their beers. The store will be expanded this year with a bigger beer display area. Visiting from San Francisco, I was mainly interested in North Central beers, and picked up a couple bottles of Half Acre's Baumé, a limited edition hopped chocolate rye stout to commemorate the first beer they made at their relatively new brewery established in 2009. Also picked up a bottle of Bluegrass Brewing Company's Bourbon Barrel Aged Helles, out of Louisville, KY. BBC was one of the special tastings West Lakeview puts on periodically. There were many more beers I would have purchased, but unfortunately I had maxed out my luggage space at Three Floyds the day before and was just on my way to O'Hare. I joined their mailing list and will be keeping track of their offerings and promotions (they ship) and will definitely return here when I am in the Chicago area.

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Photo of wmtxbb
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I sort of hate this place... because it isn't next door to my house. West Lakeview liquors is the epitome of an awesome liquor store.

I'd like to start this rant about how awesome this place is by telling you, the reading audience, that I'm from Kansas - and Kansas has the most strict liquor laws in the country. We can't even fart over 0.15% without being arrested. The Kansas liquor stores stock an ample supply of the crappiest AB, coors, and Miller products that you can imagine. So, when I first moved to Chicago the liquor stores here were like a magical wonderland full of craft booze.

When I stopped into this particular liquor store, I felt the same level of awe...times 10. This place, although it is the size of a closet, has the most amazing selection; the employes know a bunch about beer and the prices are not too bad.

Overall, west lakeview liquors is awesome and you should visit this place.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I visited this place because everyone who lives in or near the city HAS to visit it.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting. This is a humble little liquor store with a nice little craft beer section. All the beers were reasonably priced and well organized by country. All the sixers, 4-packs and minikegs were in a series of fridges across the way. They also had a selection of cheeses for pairing in the next room; something I wish every liquor store had (I can dream can't I).

Ok, there was a nice selection of single bottles, true. The Mikkeller selection, in particular was very good, but there was nothing outrageously rare or crazy. Mostly stuff you could find at your local Binny's and the sixer selection suffered.

That being said, this did have the neighborhood shop feel and the staff were extremely knowledgeable and friendly - true beer advocates.

Overall, its not the beer Mecca some make it out to be, its more of a hangout for beer geeks and a chance to be in a drink store where the line between beer sellers and drinkers is blurred. A nice, quaint little place.

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Photo of wschmit
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

West Lakeview is probably the best bottle shop in Chicago. The selection is easily the most thoughtful and deep. I only regret that they don't devote a bit more shelf space to beer, because it's all crammed into one small area. But don't think I"m complaining, more like wishfully dreaming.

These guys know their beer--almost any given person in the shop can talk beer, and probably wine and liquor too, if given the opportunity. Binny's maybe has a beer guy or two on staff at all times, but for this little shop to muster such knowledge is damned impressive.

Selection of Americans is the skimpiest. They keep it to interesting and limited release beers. The imports are where they kill. Pannepot Reserva? Five different offerings from Fantome for 14.99? Three or four offerings from Mahr's? Six beers from Dieu du Ciel? Check, check, check, and, yes, check. I could go on--Drie Fonteinen, Cantillon, hell even seeing Spezial Rauchbier in a bottle shocked me. So the selection kicks serious tail. The only thing that could make it a five was if they had more space devoted to sixers of American stuff, but I won't hold that against them. Glad they make the decisions they do.

Oh, and prices are very fair, even inexpensive at times. If you're visiting Chicago from even a good beer town, be sure to stop here.

Edited to add: I stopped in again today, and went immediately afterwards to the Marcey St. Binny's for a side-by-side. Prices and selection are as good or better here almost across the board, except for six-packs. For example, West Lakeview had JW Lees 99 Harvest Ale for 7.99. Binny's did not have it, and the ones they did have were all 7.99 (06) or 9.99 (older). One data point does not a whole argument make, but these guys hold their own against Binny's, for sure.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Visited a number of times in my trip to Chicago in July/August 2010.

The place is divided in two. Half is the liquor store and half is a deli/convenience store. Apparently there is a cellar as well but that's off limits to customers.

Tons of bottles to choose from including lots of imports (Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Mikkeller, Nogne, etc), some locals, and a few random beers. Plenty of fridge space and shelf space that is all filled to capacity. Some random bottles seem to show up but they are not new releases, just left over from the last release. Not bad in most cases but just somethign to be aware of. Also lots of liquor, but as I have no interest in liquor I didnt pay much attention.

The people that work there really know their beer. The regular customers that I saw come in were all helped and seemed happy with what they got.

Didnt pay attention to prices all that much as I had too much beer to bring home in the suitcase already and only bought 2 bottles.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%

This is my first "online" beer store review.

I've been an online customer with West Lakeview Liquors for several years now and I have to say I'm impressed. The selection, quality and service is near exceptional. Kristina has been a big help over the years and I greatly appreciate it.

So lets get down to it. The website is very easy to navigate through. Simply click the beer tab and wala, your on your way. You can either search by country or by domestic which breaks it down into states. As you surf through the selections a fairly detailed description greets you complete with price and availability. Once you've set up an account it takes just a couple clicks and your on your way to the check out. Shipping options include FEDEX or UPS whichever you prefer.

The selection is phenomenol. My only complaint is what's listed isn't always available which is a bummer.

The decision to review them was driven by my latest purchase which I received Yesterday (1/20) having placed it on 1/13. To my surprise an envelope was inside with my purchase that included a few dollars along with a hand written note apologizing for charging me a little extra on tax. It's not just the refund but the manner in which it was handled that impressed me.

Honesty is A number one in my book.

A big thanks to the staff at West Lakeview Liquors, keep up the good work.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.44/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

great selection for a tiny little place. nondescript on the outside, and very nice on the inside. lots of good choices in the coolers, and lots of quality and esoteric selections thoughtfully laid out and arranged on the shelves and displays. good selection of belgians and american micros, some of which i haven't seen before, such as bluegrass brewing and de struise. the store clerk was helpful, knowlegeable, and friendly. she even went to grab a couple extra bottles of something i was looking for in the basement for and also went in the back of the cooler to grab a rarirty they only had a couple of (i didn't even ask for that one), although i didn't buy that one. prices aren't bad. i was able to get some '09 choklat which was labeled with the store's own sticker as that vintage (since the bottle gave no indication of the year)-a very nice touch. i'll be coming back here again. not too much macro stuff, it seems as if alot of the beers are here for a reason. everything was very clean, no dusty bottles or shelves.

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Photo of readbaron
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%

While a bit cramped, this place is awesome. The staff is super knowledgeable, and have great recommendations.

The selection of Belgian and foreign beers is out of this world. The domestic craft beer selection is nothing to sneeze at either.

My only complaint - the shop is too small for them to keep many of the beers on the shelves - it's hard to tell what's in stock because there might be more hidden in the basement. But, if you ask, you can certainly find out if they have it.

I highly recommend visiting.

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Photo of MarkFy
4.35/5  rDev -5%

Love this place. They have a great selection of U.S. and foreign beers, sell some bottles in singles which is nice, and tend to get some rare/hard to find beers that usually gets swept up before they hit the shelves at Binnys and such.

Staff is friendly and prices are spot on and quite fair. Great selection of some harder to find and unique spirits as well. Wine selection seems to be okay.

Not a huge place, but it has a nice neighborhood feel and kept quite clean.

And yes, if you like Mikkeller, this is the place to go hands down. They get some bottles that hardly anyone knows about but certainly would be sought after.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

I finally made it here after tons of recommendations, glad to not be let down at all...Cool location in a great part of town, a quiet residential area. The store itself is really small but its mostly focused on beer so thats fine, does have some hard liquor and wine too. There is about 6 fridgees for 6 packs of beer, all quality stuff. No 3 floyds sixers though becuase they said they couldn't get them, kind of weird. Tons of single bottles, mostly focused on Belgians, and rare beglians at that. A unreal list of beers here, lots or sours, semi hard to find lambics. The beer guy at the store knew what he was talking about, had good suggestions.

Excellent beer store, probably the best in Chicago.

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Photo of crossovert
4.66/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This shop is located off Addison, in the back there is a lot for maybe 4 cars.

It is a tiny place and I was immediately greeted by the cashier who was also the beer guy. He was extremely friendly and asked if I needed help. I saw that the Mikkeller Brett was sold out on the shelf but he went down ad got me some bottles form the basement. He also offered his own suggestions which were awesome. Best service of any beer store I have been to yet.

The selection is very worldly, the American craft selection is actually really tiny. The store is really tiny, a hole in the wall but it is stacked to the top with beer. It is mostly focused on rarer imports, some of which I've only seen here. The prices were a bit tedious, but al in all it was because they trimmed away a lot of the fat form their beer selection offering mostly just the "grand crus" of each brewery. I it is between a 4 and 4.5 for selection, might be closer to 4, it is hard to guess since there are lots of beers up on the shelves with only 1 or 2 more in stock. The thing about the selection is there are just a bunch of rare beers here that I literally have not seen anywhere else in Chicago.

This is a great place to shop in Chicago especially in the area.

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Photo of wedgie9
4.35/5  rDev -5%

This is one of the best beer shops around. They feature beers from nearly every country you can think of. I stop by around once a week just to see what is new, and I am never disappointed. They are also THE place in Chicago to buy Mikkeller, as they have some exclusives that are not offered anywhere else in the city. The staff is always helpful, and make great recommendations based on what I like.

The prices are comparable to anywhere else in town, and if you are looking for rarities that no one else carries, this is your place.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -19.2%

I haven't been to the physical location but I dealt with them over the phone and through the internet.

They have a great selection listed in a nicely searchable format online. Organized by state or country and then by brewery. I kind of wish there was a clean search function but its easy to find out stuff when I want to find it. I am cautiously impressed with the selection.

I placed an order from some Cantillon beers and some other stuff and they were slow to get back to me. I contacted them via phone after a few weeks and they said some of the beers I had ordered were on back order and they were holding it. I would have appreciated a heads up on that. They shipped my package about a week later and they subbed two beers without asking and sent the wrong vintages of everything else.

I like online liquor stores and this is definitely a good one from a selection and quality point of view. But they really need to work on a system that matches their inventory with what is available on the website. Otherwise the customers won't have confidence that they are ordering what is listed on the site. Also, if something goes wrong, actually call the person who placed the order (or email them). You have access to this information.

I would use them again, cautiously, but I will definitely place my order over the phone.

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Photo of tpd975
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%

Stopped in on during my trip to Dark Lord Day.

Cool little store. Not tons of space but it is chalk full of the good stuff. A small cooler section and then a nice shelving unit. The clerk (who was a real cool guy) was quick to greet us. He offered to help out in anyway he could, we declined and he left us to shop.

Tons of rare imports many of which I did not see anywhere else in the city. They are going for quality of quantity here and doing a real good job of it. We later spoke with the clerk (met him again at DLD) and he was well versed in the good stuff. Prices were a bit more than the box chains but you have to expect that with the inventory and smaller footprint.

Overall a great store, one that is now a must hit when in the city. Hit Binny's first for the run of the mill goodness, and then come here for the rare treats. A stop at both of these places is all you would need on any trip to Chicago.

By the way West Lakeview Ships, I had no idea, but now that I know I will use them.

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Photo of jera1350
4.05/5  rDev -11.6%

My second stop upon arrival in The Windy City. The store is pretty small, but they make good use of the space. A refrigerator section with some sixers and a few bombers and then another wall dedicated to singles of craft beer. A ton of bombers and 750's. Lots of Lost Abbey, Goose Island, Port, Flossmoor, etc. Seemed to be lots of high end beers here. I found tons of great beers that I don't have access too in MN. I was asked if I needed help and then allowed to look around and make my selections. Prices seemed to be pretty good. A good beer store and worth the stop.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This is my go-to beer shop when I'm out and about. Located only 1 mile or so from my place, I am happy to shop there whenever I'm needing some beer/wine/alcohol.

The employees are always very friendly and helpful. They are always knowledgeable about anything I ask and offer suggestions as well.

The selection is top-notch. They have many many beers that you cannot find anywhere. If you're looking for an awesome European selection + US selection, this is your place.

The prices are usually lower or right in line with most other Chicago-area liquor stores. Of course, I would rather support a local neighborhood joint over the huge discount liquor store any day of the week.

Kristina, the owner, is probably one of the nicest people you'll ever get the pleasure to meet. She loves to talk beer, wine, whiskey, cheese, etc. and knows her stuff.

I've also bought cheese/dry fruit/cured meats from the deli shop for several events I've hosted. Always a wonderful selection and very prompt on getting them ready, no matter how much time I give them.

If you're in town visiting, be sure to look this place up! It's been voted one of the best beer shops in the COUNTRY on the other site (for good reason!).

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

I had looked this place up on BA before coming to Chicago and I wasn't disappointed. Nice and classy, well kept place with shiny bottles (i.e. no dusties). The collection is heavily Shelton Bros. imports with lots of the Belgian, Danish, Norwegian items, but also Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, and German brews. A smaller section of American craft brews, focused on regional goodies like Goose Island, Tyranena, Three Floyds, Avery, Jolly Pumpkin, Great Lakes, Bell's and others.

Service is good and friendly. The guy that helped me was kind enough to admit when I asked him about something that he hadn't tried instead of just making something up like a lot of people do just to make a sale. I appreciate that kind of integrity!

They had a really nice liquor collection too, lots of high-end small batch items that are mostly impossible to find. Their prices on liquor are somewhat steep, but you pay for the privilege to be able to find so many gems all at once. Not the place to buy Jim Beam though, you'll pay too much. The beer prices on the other hand are competitive and on target.

Got lots of things I was looking for while in Chicago and dropped $165. Highly recommend this place.

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Photo of OttoBomb
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%

Stopped in Thursday, February 12, 2010.

This store is less than a block from my home, I spotted it a few weeks ago driving by. A small DFH neon logo in the window and the massive back wall of beer visible through that front window piqued my interest. It's rare that I come across a beer store of any potential quality by chance, so I decided to stay away from review here and go in with no preconceptions.

Walking in there was actually no one in the store, after about two minutes someone walked in from the adjoining food market. The lady gave a friendly "hi" and went about her business. When I did have questions the staff was very helpful and friendly. There is nothing I hate more than over aggressive staff, but the people here were great.

For the small square footage, the selection is quite impressive. They seem to have at least a few good offering from a lot of the great domestic craft breweries (Three Floyds, Dogfish Head, Bells, New Belgium, Lagunitas, Bruery, Allagash, Founders, New Holand and tons more), and a lot from around the world; Belgian, Italian, German and stuff from the UK, just too many to list really.

The place has the feel of a nice, clean beer cellar. Thankfully there is no dust on the bottles, which is a pet peeve of mine. About half their product chilled in refrigerators, with a few choice beers offered as singles in case you want just one (Hopslam, Double Trouble, etc).

There are places in the city with bigger selections, but West Lakeview is stuffed with quality beer offering from all over. Prices are a bit higher than I'd like, but for what they provide, this is only a small complaint.

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Photo of Casey10
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%

I am only commenting on the online service that I received from this store. I was able to get awesome quality products with some great service the selection has to be checked out on their website.

Quick and reasonable shipping prices given the product being sent and the time to recieve was awesome.

Product was sent Tuesday night received Friday.

They sent emails to help communicate a out of stock item (hey it happens) and made sure I was clear of what was happening and made sure it was taken care of to my satisfation.

I will do business with them again they were awesome. !!

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West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL
4.58 out of 5 based on 189 ratings.
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