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West Lakeview Liquors

Your Rating: None
West Lakeview LiquorsWest Lakeview Liquors
BA SCORE
4.59/5
World-Class
190 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
Reviews:
108
Ratings:
190
pDev:
6.75%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of BRami127
2.75/5  rDev -40.1%

Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -19.4%

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.

 1,329 characters

Photo of Cubatobaco
3.9/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

While this may be an awesome store to visit, I am very disappointed in their online service, as well as, customer service via email. I placed an order on June 7th and did not get an update until June 23rd about shipping. It was for 6 bottles!!!! Come on! The sad thing is that I had to call. I also received and email with a FedEx tracking number that said it would show up today (6/23), but it's being shipped today.

I'm a bit sketchy about the IPA's that I ordered as they are now 3 weeks older. I hope that they compensated for such. I hope that they can get their orders caught up and no one else has to go through this kind of delay.

 640 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
3.95/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

I stopped in here while cruising around the Chicago area looking for some beer to add to the cellar.

I was truly surprised by how small this place is-- but even more surprised by how many beers they managed to fit in here!
The overall vibe in the look of the place makes me think of an old wild west saloon and general store-- and I actually like it. I do the shelves are pretty over-crowded, but they seem to be doing the best they can with the space available.

I bought a few bottles of 3F Oude Kriek (as it is implement unavailable in the SW suburbs). As of mid-February, the shop still has some bottles of mikeller Sour Bitch available -- 2 bottle limit, $30 per bottle. I was also surprised to find several cases of Jester King Black Metal... I was told that the owners of the store are friends with the brewery.

I was mainly excited to see they still had several of the Cantillon stemware glasses remaining, and happily grabbed 2 of them. The glasses were "cash only," and $10 each, but I was excited none the less.
The store also had a bunch of other glasses available, including some of the Duvel artist series.

My only complaint about the store-- The 2 employees I dealt with seemed to act like my presence was an inconvenience up with which they begrudgingly put.
The tall guy with longer dark hair in his late 30s that appeared to be the manager and the hipster in his young 20s that rang me up both gave the impression that what they needed to make their store a better place was having fewer customers looking around.

Now to be fair, I'm sure that both of these guys are friendly and courteous and all that, and perhaps I caught them during an inventory or while they were trying to organize new shipments... But, as stated, it remains my only complaint.

 1,778 characters

Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of markgugs
4/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ranked the best store in Chicago, it likely is. Very good Shelton brothers selection, as well as twelve Percent (Evil Twin). Several US microbrews not available or sent here by distributors that were available at other small stores I visited. Looked like 700 different selections. Some overflow bottles were in the front window which was not a good idea. No breaking up of 4 or 6 packs. Service was a bit spoty but also only one server this night and I was keeping him hopping.Attached to a small deli-like store with some good snacks that go with beer.

 553 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Beginner2
4.01/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Established in 1988, West Lakeview was a pioneer; opening a high-quality wine and beer store beer in a neighborhood that was less than 1/3 gentrified. (Today it is 100% and the store owner looks like a genius.)

But being a pioneer doesn't last forever. Several more craft beer bars have opened in, say, that half mile radius as have at least two other similar specialty stores in a somewhat larger area. So the question is, how does West Lakeview fair now ?

With more competition, it needs to change things up a bit more. It can still keep its niche of unusually good beer imports and very knowledgeable staff (although the last time of 6 times of purchased there, the guy at the counter was the spirits specialist.) Lakeview can also keep its spirits+wine vs beer 50-50 split of space. And it should strengthen that.

Two suggestions.

First... They do not offer a build-you-own-6-pack and absolutely should. This was immediately popular 5 years ago, so West Lakeview is giving business to its competition. Worse, many of Lakeview's customers buy in the one-and-down habit. So give the customers what they want. If they particularly want to expand their American craft trade (which is a good idea since Chicago is very fast becoming the largest metro producer), they need to offer build-your-own-6-pack.

Second (and this is work), but I'd do pairings with local restaurants. Get more crafts and imports paired with restaurant items and use it for advertising "Pairing done by West Lakeview" and get it on the menus.

As someone who knows he is over-paying by buying at Lakeview instead of Binny's, I just gave them some really, really useful advice. Compete with smarts.

10/23/17 Revisit. It was a big put off. The kid behind the counter knew little of beer and didn't even know how to pack it in a box so it didn't rattle going over the bumps. But I repeat my big complaint: they don't have a build-your-own 6 pack. The only place in the city that I know of that doesn't. A very stuck-in-its-ways-store. I reduced by rating accordingly. And having spent $145 this last time there, I may never walk in again !
I also noticed as I went through previous purchases that some beers were well past their time. Probably no inventory control. Bottom-line: over-priced.

 2,269 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.05/5  rDev -11.8%

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.

 572 characters

Photo of Gorf_Minor
4.13/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of The_Beer_Shark
4.14/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of jschott75
4.15/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of sweemzander
4.16/5  rDev -9.4%
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

 562 characters

Photo of spointon
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%

I visited on 2/21/2009.

This was my first visit to this place and I was very impressed. Its not a very large place, but they combat that by wasting zero space on wimpy beers! The wine section is right inside the door, and the beers are in the back. Coolers line the left wall with about 6-8 doors dedicated to craft beer 4 and 6 packs. The warm beer was across from the coolers on a mishmash of curving shelves and display islands.

Selection was pretty diverse for such a small place. There were easily over a dozen countries and a bunch of serious US craft brewers represented with 5+ beers from Nogne, a few from Baird, some Jolly Pumpkin, a bunch of German stuff that seemed fairly obscure, an excellent lineup of Belgians, plus a full line of Great Lakes, Bell's, Founder's, etc. I couldn't begin to list it all, but believe me it was impressive.

Service was fine, the one question I asked they had a ready answer for.

Prices were ok, with a few things being a bit overpriced compared to other stores in greater Chicagoland. Still, the rarer stuff is worth paying a premium to get...

All in all a great store that I will visit again I am sure!

 1,153 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of stakem
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of 510a
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Taybeh
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Pretty small and not a huge number of offerings, but the stuff that they did have was high quality. Very helpful staff. Asked about 3 Floyds stuff (because I only saw some Gumballhead and Robert the Bruce on the shelves) and he hooked me up with some Zombie Dust. Made the drive back to Minneapolis a lot better, full of happy anticipation.

 343 characters

Photo of teledeluxe
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ChicagoNick
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Thirsty_In_Chicago
4.26/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of mulder1010
4.28/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A-- Off Addison, near Wrigley Field. Very small shop. Wine in the middle of the store, beers in the coolers and in the back.

Q-- Clean and organized. Did a nice job of separating the foreign, local craft and craft beer. Especially considering the space that they have to work with.

S-- Excellent service. Had two questions and got a lot of help in a short amount of time.

S-- Impressive. Good Foreign stuff that not normally seen and really good selection of stuff within the Chicago area. Able to buy singles of selected beers was very nice and something not all that seen in the US.

V-- Good prices, good service and a good selection of beers. FFF, Flossmore, Dark Horse, Great Divide, Hitichino, and others make this a place worth going to in a big way. Thanks to Dunt and Alexander for the suggestion.

 813 characters

Photo of SAEmick
4.28/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of mkopera24
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%

I accidentally stumbled upon this great store just recently. I was surprised to see it had never been reviewed on here. So I knew it immediately needed to be added. For any BA's in Chicago, or any visiting you need to stop by. First off, when you walk in, just by the look of this place, you know that this is a beer lovers store. The owners obviously know and love beer. On Fridays & Saturdays from 4-7pm, West Lakeview has instore tastings. Great place to go taste and talk some really good beer. Great Belgian selections....which was my favorite. They are great with keeping up with all of their brands' seasonals. Not to mention the service. I was approached by, and talked beer with every employee that was on the clock that evening. Great people...very knowledgeable when it comes to all of their products. And when you stop in, say hi to Automatic & Action....the two dogs that freely walk around the store. Again, just a great place for a beer advocate to go, enjoy, talk, and learn about really great beer.

 1,015 characters

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West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 4.59 out of 5 with 190 ratings
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