This past weekend I attended the grand opening of Spirit World’s new location in Aksarben Village. Being a craft cocktail enthusiast / amateur mixologist, one of my favorite places to wander in and browse is Spirit World. Spirit World has long been the source for specialty liquors, wines, microbrews and other specialty items, but as their selection grew the original space at 76th and Pacific started to feel cramped and cluttered. When the Wohlners Grocery space became available in the growing Aksarben Village, Spirit World saw the opportunity to grow and revitalize their business in a new space, adding a private party room, a whiskey and wine tasting bar and a new outdoor seating area.
The new location is far more open and airy, the big windows and high ceilings giving a wide open and welcoming feeling to the space. nice wooden shelves filled with a wide selection of wines organized by region and type. The aisles are much wider than the old building, which helped me feel like I could really browse the expanded selection even with the large crowd that was attending the grand opening. A nice selection of microbrews and specialty beers are kept in a cooler section where you can buy individual bottles as well as six packs.
A wide selection of spirits lines the north wall, the spirits arranged by type. It is apparent the selection is greatly expanded, as the selections of gins, whiskeys, bourbons and scotches was very impressive and covered about twice the shelving as the old store. Staff was enthusiastically serving samples of various spirits and discussing the origins of the various spirits. It was nice to have a staff that was knowledgeable and very helpful. My father and I really enjoyed the samples of the Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch and the Templeton Rye.
Beyond the spirits, there is a large open deli counter that serves fresh salads, charcuterie and gourmet sandwiches and paninis. Near the deli counter is a seating area with about 10 tables that would be perfect for enjoying a beer, glass of wine or a drink from the tasting bar. The private party room is just beyond the cafe area set behind a glass wall that has light box shelving with specialty spirits and wines back lit by the light from the large windows.
Up near the front of the building, the l shaped tasting bar is topped with slate that compliments the stacked stone walls and columns. The bar can seat around 15-20 folks and could be a nice place to stop in and sample a few spirits if you find yourself in Aksarben Village.